Monday, August 3, 2020

Corum III: Chaotic Magic in English

I use to be really into alternative operating systems and BeOS was my favorite.  The company, Gobe published a 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 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 it.

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


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, thought 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.

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. 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.


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I set dxwnd to display in a fullscreen window by going to Edit>Modify>Main (Modify can be found under the Edit menu or by right clicking the game icon in the window)



and to get that to work I needed to switch to directx6 in the settings under the DirectX tab in the Modify Window


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.


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.   One of these files can be found here, but I haven't tried it so you're on your own.  This doesn't solve the fullscreen problem.


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.  However, DXwnd does not support flac.

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