Friday, August 21, 2020

Corum III: Chaotic Magic - Part 2 - Playing the game

 This is a second post I've decided to make, specifically about things I discover while playing Corum III in English.  Part One, about installing and getting the game working, can be found here.

I've considered making a walkthrough of the game, but I don't think there's any way for me to do that without including spoilers, so for now I will simply list any significant errors I find, or useful materials.

I found it a little frustrating and confusing trying to find where people live in town, so  I made a map with everyone's name on it.  I assume all the names are the same between the BeOS and Windows versions, but I only checked a few names.  You should be able to save the full-size map by right clicking the image and clicking "Save link as"

Error 1:
In the Windows version, the second Ranford Mission from the Adventurer's Guild, there is a mistake.  It says you need to deliver the letter to Irene, but that is a lie.  You need to deliver the letter to Moanne.  This mistake does not exist in the BeOS version.

Magic

Ok,  It's not at all obvious how to use magic from within the game itself.  I'm sure it probably explains it in the manual, but in spite of my best efforts I have not been able to find a copy of the manual in English.  I have found one in Chinese, but it's not in a format that I can easily translate.  It took me a long time to figure out how to use magic in the game.

The basics:
Hold down your attack button and then press the combo that's listed in the "magic" section of your settings menu.  This should work for Kaien any time you're in a combat area.  You will probably need to let go of the attack and press it again to cast a subsequent spell.  Once you level up your spell the cost to use the spell should be cut roughly in half, and you should get a new, more powerful, spell to level up.  You may want to wait until you're a higher level and have bought the magic cost reducing item, or the spell power increasing item, to try leveling your spells.

Elemental Magic:
Elemental magic works a little differently than Kaien's magic.  Instead of simply casting the spell, you first need to summon the elemental for that magic.  You summon an elemental by holding attack, and then pressing a direction button twice.  Up up is water, left left is air, down down is rock, and right right is fire.  Then you should be able to cast the spells as you would with Kaien, by holding down your attack button and then pressing the combo that's listed in the "magic" section of your settings menu.  Spells will generally continue to work even if you switch to a different elemental.  Also, you should be able to continue casting without releasing the attack button.  Like Kaien's spells, once you level up a spell the cost to use the spell should be cut roughly in half, and you should get a new, more powerful, spell to level up.

I had some trouble with button presses not always registering.  It might be easier with keyboard rather than gamepad.


Updates:

08/26/2020 Added info on Magic

Monday, August 3, 2020

Corum III: Chaotic Magic in English - Part 1 - Installation

Edit:  I've been streaming the game on my twitch channel at https://www.twitch.tv/fragmentalstew and you can find recordings of the streams on twitch or on youtube

Notice:  I've published a Part 2 that aims to provide spoiler-free assistance in playing the game, which can be found here.

I used to be really into alternative operating systems and BeOS was my favorite.  The company Gobe Software, who also published the Operating System, published an English translation of the Korean only game called Corum 3, and it was one of the few big commercial games released for the OS.  It was widely believed that this was the only version of the game in English, but I've found a version for windows as well.  I don't know if the English version is a fan translation or a commercial translation, but there's some indication that a company called SagaCity is involved somehow.  I can't find any information on the company.

The translation of the BeOS and Windows versions are different.  In general, the BeOS translation seem to be better, or at least the writing seems to flow more smoothly.  However they both have typos, and they're both passable.

Here's a video I made showing a comparison of the introductions.


BeOS Version

In the course of trying to get the game to work I tried HaikuOS, a recreation of BeOS, as well as BeOS 4.5,  BeOS Dano, BeOS Max and possibly some other variations, with VirtualPC and VMware, and was unable to get the game to work until I tried BeOS 5.0 Pro using the method I describe below.

I found this guide for getting BeOS 5.0 Pro working in PCem. Virtual Machines like VMware and VirtualPC don't have video emulation that BeOS has a 2d accelerated driver for, so it can't run the game.  PCem has video card emulation, though it can be some trouble to get setup.

PCem doesn't run at full speed on my system, at the cpu speed that BeOS requires, so I used 86Box instead.  Though 86Box runs at full speed, thee game still had audio stuttering sometimes.  However, if I leave the vm running for some time, the audio stuttering will eventually go away.   I used win10pcap to get the networking working in BeOS, but wasn't able to get it working until I switched to 86Box, because PCem didn't have a descriptive name for the networking device, and I had the wrong one selected.  Networking isn't necessary for the game itself.

The game runs slowly unless I switch the game to fullscreen mode,  then the game runs smoothly, and at a good fps.  However, if a video plays, like when you first start the game, the game will complain about your video card being unable to display fullscreen and it will kick you back to window mode.  After this, you cannot switch back to fullscreen and must restart the game.  While it's possible to start the game in window mode, then switch to fullscreen, and the game will play well, it's also very probable that there could be videos that play later which could cause problems.  And there's no way to play the videos without lag. 

Also, sometimes the controls get stuck in a particular direction, and I'm not sure why, or how to fix it.  It may be related to joystick somehow so disabling joystick may stop it from happening, but it is possible to use a gamepad with direction pad and 4 buttons. 

A few times 86box got stuck and wouldn't boot so I renamed the nvr folder, after which it created a new nvr folder and started working again.

Notice:  If you're using the complete package with 86Box and the music cd, that I posted below, I tested it out on a different pc and there were a few steps I needed to take.  

I'm running the 86Box window in 2x, which makes the window 1280x960.  If your screen is smaller, you can change it to a smaller scale under view>"window scale factor". 


There's this weird bug, that I assume is caused by 86Box somehow, that happens when the controller you set up in 86Box doesn't match what's plugged in at the time.  This manifests as a persistent direction being inputted into the game which prevents you from navigating the menus or moving around effectively.  If this happens to you, you can exit the game using alt-q.

If you want to use your controller, you'll need to make sure it's properly selected and setup in 86Box, and then make sure it's properly selected and setup in BeOS.  If you want to use keyboard instead, you can just disable the controller in either 86Box or BeOS.  Disabling it in BeOS may be easier, since you won't have to restart the vm to save the settings.  The joystick config in 86Box is under Tools>settings>"Input Devices", and the config in BeOS is under Preferences>joysticks of the BeOS menu.

I have a Logitech Rumblepad 2, which is mostly the same as a Logitech 510, and similar to a 310 or 710.  It looks very much like a playstation controller.  Using this,  I was only able to ever get the direction controls and 4 buttons to work.  The same is true for both the BeOS version and the Windows version.  Also, the gamepad feels like it has more input lag than the keyboard, in both versions, but I still prefer it over the keyboard because it's just more comfortable.  If I need to use a button that I don't have mapped, I just pause the game with the controller and then use the button on the keyboard.

In order to get the music working in-game you'll want to mount the cd-rom image with 86Box with Media>Cd-rom ...>image and then find the image file in the Images folder in the 86Box folder that you extracted.  The file is called "music.cue".  After that you may need to enable music inside Corum itself.

There's an error that pops up in BeOS regarding networking.  It's not really a problem, and you don't really need it, but if you want networking, you can install winpcap.  It might work right out of the box, but there might be some extra steps you need to take.  I'm not sure, because I haven't tried that yet.  If you don't care about getting networking working, you just want the network error to go away, then just disable the network through preferences>network>clear then save, in the BeOS menu.  

Windows Version


Because of the video lag issues, as well as the other minor problems, I decided to play using the Windows version, even though the translation might not be as good.

The Windows version ran well directly after installation and I had no difficulty with the install.  I followed the directions included in the archive for how to install the Korean to English patch.  CD 2 must be mounted in order to be able to listen to music.

However, I had two problems with the Windows version.  The first is that the cd audio did not loop.  The second was that it was forced into fullscreen.  When I tried to capture the game with OBS,  I had to do some tricky things, because the capture would disappear when I alt-tab.

To solve both of these problems I use a program called dxwnd (you will want version 2.05.54 or higher). DxWnd has very good documentation under Help>View  Help in the program but that same documentation cannot be found online afaik.  I've outlined the process I used below, but all of this information can be found in the Help documentation.

I added the game in DXWnd.

I enabled expert mode under options

`
I then modified the entry in DXWnd.  These are my settings for running the application in a window





A quick and dirty list of the settings I use to run in a window is as follows:
Main
Keep aspect ratio
1280x960(2x of initial window size, which is 640x480)
Desktop Center
run in window
terminate on window close
ask confirmation on window close


Video
Locked size
Set DPI awareness


Msgs
Add message pump



Sound
I then exported the cd audio to ogg vorbis, using cdex, with the name convention of "Track1.ogg"etc. and put it in a folder called "Music" in the game folder.  Then I turned on cd emulation in dxwnd by enabling export mode under the Options menu, then Modify>Sound and checking "Virtual CD audio"



Using this, I no longer need the audio cd to be mounted, and the cd music would loop in-game.  I then created a shortcut to dxwnd and run corum through dxwnd.  A link to an archive containing the ogg vorbis music files listed below.  The game folder should look like this, with the game music.


Notice:  Due to a problem with color palettes in 2.05.53 and 2.05.54, if you want to run the game in fullscreen you may need to change DirectX>"DirectX Version Hook" to None.  


It will essentially be the same as running the game without DXWnd, but with the added benefit of the Virtual CD Audio.  You will want to turn this setting back to Automatic, DirectX1~6, or DirectX7 when you want to run in a window.  I've had trouble with Automatic before, and I use DirectX1~6, though I haven't noticed any difference with DirectX7.  You can toggle this setting to switch between fullscreen and windowed mode, until it's fixed, but it's not ideal.

However, it's not all system may need this setting.  You'll just have to try it yourself.  For reference,  this is what the color problem looks like:
Another solution that may or may not work, is to set Hook, "Injection mode" to "SetWindowsHook".  


If this setting fixes the color problem for you,  you won't need to set "DirectX Version Hook" to none, and should be able to switch between window and fullscreen mode by simply checked and unchecking "Run in Window" Sometimes this works for me and sometimes it doesn't.  I haven't been able to ascertain any rhyme or reason to it.


This will likely be fixed in the next release (2.05.55, I assume).

Notice 2:  There's also a weird bug, when the DXWnd hook is enabled, where you can't quit the game from within the game world, but you can exit to the starting menu and then quit the game.


Alternative to DXWnd for looping music:
There is an alternative to get looping music with the cd audio directly, and that is to replace the winmm.dll file in the game folder with a patched version.   The only version of this that I've been able to get working is called CDAudio proxy and is based on DXWnd.   Simply unzip the files into the Corum III folder, along with your ogg vorbis "Music" folder that I outlined above.

Another version of this, called _inmm can be found here, but I haven't been able to get it to work.  I've tried a few forks of a version called ogg_winmm, and though I was able to get some of them to work, the music did not loop as intended. 

And, of course, there is always the alternative of running an older version of windows, either in a virtual machine or on older hardware, from before the change was made to winmm.  I don't know when the change was made, but Windows 98 should work.


Files


BeOS

You can find a zip image containing the virtual machine, hard drive and cd image here.  Using this you should be able to simply load 86Box, and run the game from within BeOS.  Or here is a download with just the game.  The music cd, in a format that 86Box can recognize, is included with the full download, but not the download of the game by itself.

Windows

Or you can find the Windows version of the game here:
Windows CD 1 with Korean to English patch
mirror

Windows CD 2 (game music) 
mirror

The extracted ogg vorbis music can be found here.  Place it in the game's folder for use with dxwnd.

I do not own these games and have no right to redistribute them, but they're interesting and increasingly difficult to find, and I feel like the game deserves to be preserved and experienced.

I have also uploaded the entire cd audio to youtube so you can listen freely, here.   The music is very good, generally.

Playlist 

I made the videos by mounting the audio cd with daemon tools, ripping the cd audio as flac with cdex, and then created the videos with Davinci Resolve.  I considered making a tutorial about the process, but Davinci Resolve was freezing on me during part of the process and I'm not sure what the deal with that was.

Lastly, the lossless flac version of the cd audio can be found here.  Note, DXWnd virtual cd audio does support flac, but I was unable to get my files to work with it.

Edits:

Corrections 08/13/2020
I added some info about the things I tried to get the BeOS version to work.

I previously stated that DXWnd virtual audio doesn't support flac, but it does.

I thought I had Corum III working with no issues in dxwnd, but I was wrong.  In window mode, the game sort of becomes detached from the window during the intro videos playback, which temporarily kills the obs capture, among other things.  This isn't a problem in fullscreen.

Another possibly worse problem is when I'm using virtual cd audio, with the ogg files, the menu music will start playing during the second introductory video. 

This doesn't happen using the cd audio, but I couldn't find a way to get the cd audio to loop using any method besides the virtual cd with dxwnd. I tried _inmm from https://static.old-games.ru/utils/_inmm238.rar but I couldn't figure out how to get it to work. I tried ogg-winmm from https://github.com/bangstk/ogg-winmm/releases and no music would play.  I tried a fork of that from https://github.com/adambiser/ogg-winmm/releases/tag/1.2.2 and it worked the same as the cd audio with no looping.  I tried another fork from https://github.com/mohzy83/ogg-winmm/releases/tag/1.3.0.0 and it worked the same as the adambiser fork.

 I then posted about this on the DXWnd sourceforge forums and was provided a dll patched with fixes from a newer, unreleased version of DXWnd (2.05.54).  This fixes the music problem.

08/16/2020
DXWnd 2.05.54 has been released, which fixes the music problem, and also has a tentative export file for Corum III.   Additionally, you no longer need to manually set the DirectX version to 1-6 or 7.  I've changed the directions to reflect this as well as some more info about getting the game to run in a window.

08/18/2020
Due to changes to to the way DXWnd handles color palettes in 2.05.53 a bug was introduced that causes the color palette to be incorrect when the game is in fullscreen.  I have outlined a workaround.  This will likely be fixed in the next release.

I was informed of, and tested an alternative fix for the cd audio looping, that doesn't require DXWnd, but is based on DXWnd, called CDAudio proxy.  I linked to it above.

8/19/2020 Added some more info and another possible solution about the color palette problem.

8/22/2020  I tested out my zip file of 86Box with BeOS and Corum III on a different computer, and added some information about steps I need to take to get things set up.

8/23/2020 Added a little info about a bug with DXWnd related to quitting the game, as well some more info about DirectX Version Hook.

8/27/2020 added links to my twitch channel, where I've been streaming the game, as well as links for the VODs

Saturday, July 18, 2020

How to play Road to Druaga with English Windows 10

There's a freeware game called "The Road to Druaga" that's based on the Tower of Druaga series.  You can find it here: http://druaga.onoda-pro.com/

However, unless you're playing using the Japanese locale for Windows 10, the game will just show a black screen.

You can always switch your locale to Japanese, but that can cause problems with other programs.  You can also load up windows 7+ in Japanese locale in a Virtual Machine.

However, I chose instead to use a program called Locale Emulator, which you can find here:
https://xupefei.github.io/Locale-Emulator/

First, you need to extract the files from The Road to Druaga zip file, with the filenames intact.  Unfortunately, the filenames are not using unicode characters, but are instead using shift-jis(I assume).

In order to extract the files with filenames intact,  I used a 32-bit version of 7-zip, which I installed from here: https://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/7-zip_portable  I used the portable version so it wouldn't interfere with my current install of 7-zip, which didn't work with Locale Emulator.  I don't know why it didn't work, but I assume 64-bit apps just don't work with Locale Emulator.

I loaded the 7zFM.exe as Japanese  using the right-click explorer extension for locale emulator.   I then found the Druaga zip file in the file explorer.  I could see the filenames were intact, and when I extracted the files, the filenames were still intact.









I then ran the Druaga exe using Locale Emulator and it seems to work with no issues.

The game menus seem to be in English so I had no problem navigating them.

The readme text file, in the folder, is also in shift-jis so in order to read it you need a program that can read shift-jis.  One program that can do this is JWPce http://www.tanos.co.uk/jlpt/extras/jwpce/  but you can also just load the file with locale-emulator.  When I opened it with locale emulator it opened in notepad and it displayed correctly.  But the entire readme is copied on the download page http://druaga.onoda-pro.com/download where you can conveniently use google translate.

I would share the files with filenames converted to unicode, but I don't have permission, and the readme strictly forbids redistribution without permission.

Edit:
It's been brought to my attention that instead of using locale emulator with 7zip(or some other zip software), you can use Bandizip from https://en.bandisoft.com/bandizip/old/6/.  I used the 6.27 portable version because it's ad-free and doesn't require an install.  When using Bandizip, you select the World symbol on the toolbar, and select Japanese.
















You'll still need locale emulator to play the game.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Logitech Gaming Software "Sorry, this software is not compatible with your operating system."

I decided to install the Logitech Gaming Software for my Logitech g203.  I went to the support page for the mouse, and downloaded the software it suggested.  When I tried to install the software it had the error "Sorry,  this software is not compatible with your operating system.  Please visit http://www.logitech.com/support to download a compatible version."




I'm using Windows 10 64-bit, and for some unknown reason the logitech website was automatically detecting that my operating system is 32-bit (x86) and giving me the 32-bit version of the software.  By clicking the "Show All Downloads" button I was able to quickly find the 64-bit version, which does work.  The download listed under "Show All Downloads" was also a newer version of the software.  Why the Logitech website is suggesting that users download an older version that's not compatible with their operating system, I cannot guess.



Sunday, April 7, 2019

Log 2; ASUS Live Update won't uninstall and cannot stop it from starting

I have an ASUS laptop with a ASUS Live Update Software that came preinstalled.  The software no longer offers updates, as the laptop is somewhat old, but it gets loaded at boot every time.  Since it's no longer useful and takes up resources, I thought I would try to get it to stop loading at boot time, but that proved more difficult that it should have been.

I've upgraded this laptop from Windows 7 to Windows 10.  I don't know if that has any relation to the problem.

ASUS Live Update was not listed in the startup tab of task manager, so I couldn't stop it from booting.   Neither did the application have the option in its settings.

I tried to uninstall it, but when I try to uninstall it from "Apps & Features" in the windows settings it says:

 "There was a problem starting C:\Program
The specified module could not be found"

I also tried it from "Programs and Features" in the control panel with the same result.

I tried the to fix the uninstall with the Microsoft FixIt tool  https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17588/windows-fix-problems-that-block-programs-being-installed-or-removed and the program wasn't listed.

The program wasn't listed in "Services", so there was no service for me to disable.


I tried using Revo Uninstaller 2.0.6 Portable and at first the program wasn't listed, but then I reopened it later and it was listed. I tried uninstalling with Revo and the same error popped up.  However, Revo seemed to think it had succeeded.  I ran the "Moderate" Scan to try to cleanup files.  It took a while.

When the scan finished, it found a bunch of leftover Registry items. This showed me some information I might have been able to use to uninstall via another method(such as the Microsoft FixIt tools), but I didn't try it.  I chose "select all" and then "delete".  The next page showed me all of the files on the hard drive.  Again I chose "select all" and then "delete".

With that, the Asus Live Update software was completely removed from my hard drive, as far as I can tell.

Edit:  Revo Uninstaller didn't remove the files.  I'm not sure if it was a failure on the part of the software or user error on my part.  I know where the files are and could delete them manually, but I'm not reallly concerned.

Edit 2:  The program came back!  I don't know how or why.  Maybe revo uninstaller failed somehow.  I'll have to try again.

Edit 3:  the program is no longer listed in the list in Revo Uninstaller 2.0.6, so I'll have to find another solution :/  I may just delete the files.  I don't know if the registry items remain.  I should have taken screenshots.

Edit 4:  I create a new folder and moved the program files into that folder.  Upon rebooting the program is no longer running.  It's a jenky solution, but it works

Unrelated Note:
I also tried the pro version of Revo Uninstaller 3 that I had installed previously, that I receive from a Humble Bundle, but for some reason it wasn't activated.  When I tried to activate it, I received the error:
"Activation Failed
Code: 3010"

I tried emailing Revo technical support, and they told me that they couldn't find my email address in the purchase history and that I should contact Humble Bundle if I received it from them.  Since I've already solved the problem I needed Revo Uninstaller for, I'm not going to try any further to solve this now, but I may come back to it at a later date if I need it then.

Log 1: The Log in which I talk about creating the Log

I've created this "Fix Log" primarily so that I have a singular location to share the solutions I find with others, and to make it easier for others to find those solutions.  Secondarily, this will make it easier to find my own solutions if I need them again.  Lastly, this will help me keep a record of progress.

Much of the time I will either be linking or reposting solutions that I've posted elsewhere.  I may even be linking to solutions I find elsewhere.  I don't know if I'll follow any sort of posting schedule, but I doubt it, because things that need to be fixed rarely follow a schedule.

I've created this log using Blogger, but changed the address from a subdomain of blogspot.com to a subdomain of productivegaming.com.  When I first created the blog on blogger, I chose the domain "tech.productivegaming.com", and it failed with an error.  When I tried to create the blog with the same subdomain it said it wasn't available.  So there's something funky with creating blogs with Blogger using custom subdomains.  I next created the blog using a subdomain of blogspot, fragmentaltech.blogspot.com.  This worked without issue.  I then changed the address to fragmentaltech.productivegaming.com through Settings>Basic>Publishing in the blogger settings.  fragmentaltech.blogspot.com redirects to the new address. This was easy to do because I had previously setup the CNAME for productivegaming.com.

I first thought about calling it a "Tech Blog", but a tech blog typically contains news about new technologies, so I decided that wasn't appropriate and changed the name to fixlog.productivegaming.com.  I called it "fixlog" intead of "fixblog", because honestly I've never been a fan of the word "blog".

If I want to use tech.productivegaming.com in the future, I don't know what I will need to do.  The fact that the address gives a "404" error makes me think that using that address might require some sort of fix, even if I were to use it for something unrelated to blogger.  I have no need of the address for now, and foresee no need of it in the future, so I'm going to leave it for now.

If someone wants to follow this blog, they can follow it through blogger, or I will mostly likely be posting links to the blog on my twitter at @stewartjmartin