Pickle Wars, and the sound effects

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NY00123
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Pickle Wars, and the sound effects

Post by NY00123 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 22:31

Think that someone has mentioned the lack of (older?) games discussed, so lets add one...

Pickle Wars is a platform game from Redwood Games that some of you may recognize. In my specific case, it's one of the (dunno how many) early titles I've seen at home. In fact, I have *some* kind of a sign telling me that I've seen it before any Vorticons Keen episode :O
Truly, as I could see in the shareware episode multiple times, there aren't many new things revealed in the middle of the game. But, somehow, one may be found back into the game more than once...

Well, onto the main topic: The sound effects. While it might be easy for me to forget, there was a short period of having a computer with no sound card at home, and a card (some kind of SB or compatible) added not long later.
And so, originally, all I heard in Pickle Wars (and Commander Keen 4-6 or so, and others) were PC Speaker sound effects. Since having a sound card, though, in general, all I heard was digitized or FM (OPL), if possible (Keen 4-6 included). The same holds to another computer setup that followed.
My memory tells, though, that even since having a sound card, along with the music working in Pickle Wars (now known as "OPL music"), the effects were still the same PC Speaker beeps. Even if a "SoundBlaster" card was selected for the effects, all you'd hear were the beeps.

Retrying later with DOSBox...and up to now, things have been a little confusing :O
I remember encountering the same phenomenon on DOSBox, once (always having beeps). However, with other attempts, I've actually got *most* of the effects to be digitized sounds! Two or three of these are still the usual PC Speaker beeps, though.

So, maybe I incorrectly remembered some stuff? Rather than having speaker only effects, maybe it's just the 2-3 "always speaker" effects which I recall, while the others were really digitized?

Well, the answer to that: It appears to depend on the version/setup. (Not really a surprise...)
Here are two download links for the shareware episode, and short descriptions regarding the sounds, tested with these by me:
http://www.classicdosgames.com/game/Pickle_Wars.html - After selecting "SoundBlaster, Creative Labs" for the sound effects (with all parameters autodetected or manually filled) and "SoundBlaster or compatible" for the music, the in-game effects are the PC Speaker ones!
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/pickle-wars/ - Basically repeat the same thing, and most of the sound effects are to be digitized! Well, with the exception of two or three.

BTW: Some of you may figure out that the setup program doesn't always detect DOSBox' emulated Sound Blaster card properly. Looks like it can be corrected by setting cycles=3000, at least here.

Any thoughts or other relevant comments?

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Pokota
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Post by Pokota » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:07

Geez. I love that series, love the music, hate the sound effects with a passion.
There was something here, but my yorp ate it.

NY00123
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Post by NY00123 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:47

Pokota wrote:Geez. I love that series, love the music, hate the sound effects with a passion.
Nice to see that you like the game. Which kind of effects do you refer to? PC Speaker, digitized Sound Blaster, etc?
Interestingly, I'd expect more ppl to dislike the music and not the effects, than the opposite :O
It may just be the music track played on E1M1 which is considered annoying by some, though.

A minor update: Well, guess what: There is a way of enabling digitized sound effects in the "broken" PW distribution (from classicdosgames.com).
On first run of the game, you may recall a message regarding some "RESCUE" directory; Usually, it'd be the MOUNTED path C:\RESCUE within DOSBox, probably not a real path! It should have a SOUNDDRV.COM file ready after the sound setup is done. Copy it to the game directory (where PW1.EXE resides), and you have digitized sound effects!

BTW: It may be a good time to mention this is not the only PW-specific glitch of that kind.
As of today, the whole registered version of Pickle Wars can be downloaded from here: http://download.mvpsoft.com/attic/registered/
With that copy, I've had problems with getting the music to work. Unsure regarding the sound effects.
The solution:
1. Make a new installation of Pickle Wars, registered version.
2. Also grab a shareware archive of PW.
3. Look for the files MIDPAK.SB and MIDPAK.AD in the shareware archive, and copy them to the registered version game directory.
4. Now, say for PW1, you can setup the sound effects and music and try it out.

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Pokota
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Post by Pokota » Sun Feb 19, 2012 18:03

I dislike all of the digitized sound effects in the game mainly because there's no way to make them quieter, but also because they don't fit in as well with the music. I use headphones a lot, so anything that's unable to be turned down gets turned off.
There was something here, but my yorp ate it.

NY00123
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Post by NY00123 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 21:49

Pokota wrote:I dislike all of the digitized sound effects in the game mainly because there's no way to make them quieter, but also because they don't fit in as well with the music. I use headphones a lot, so anything that's unable to be turned down gets turned off.
It makes me think of the Neural Stunner grabbing sound in Commander Keen 4 and 5 (with non-quiet AdLib/Sound Blaster effects being in usage) :O
I see how can the volume imbalance bother, although it doesn't do it much for me - maybe because I'm currently using external speakers?

Maybe I should add here.. a shorter post :)
Well, it can be nice to hear the digitized sound effects, with a few of them (or at least one) being, let's say, silly/funny! And that's the thing about the game, after all.
However, when I do play for a little with the PC Speaker beeps now, I can hear these are what I got to hear before the DOSBox days, and it can still be nice to play with these.

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Post by Paramultart » Sun Feb 19, 2012 23:14

I used to love Pickle Wars as a kid. Not so much now that I'm an adult.

One thing that's interesting is that I believe it's on an updated version of the Word/Math Rescue engine.

Redwood also released sequels for Word/Math Rescue, independent from Apogee, called Word/Math Rescue Plus.

Word/Math Rescue are the only Apogee games that I still have on their original floppies. I wish I still had my old collection. :(
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_mr_m_
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Post by _mr_m_ » Tue Feb 21, 2012 0:18

Paramultart wrote:One thing that's interesting is that I believe it's on an updated version of the Word/Math Rescue engine.
I'm pretty sure it is.

Also, none other than Bobby Prince did the music for Pickle Wars.
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tulip
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Post by tulip » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:38

I remember playing this, when I was young. The name always sounded strange in german (as the German word "Pickel" means blackhead)
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Post by Scilicet » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:24

I tried the first episode of this series last year, and I thought it was difficult. I don't think I finished the second level. The whole idea of pickle beings fainting when hit by vegetables seemed to be a stretch, like Karen Crowthar was trying to make the game as violent as possible yet still kid-friendly. The pickles looked dead to me. Was it supposed to have any educational value?
I got Word Rescue 1 when I was younger, and that might be the reason I prefer it over this game.
Tangent: Does anyone know if I can get the second and third episodes of Word Rescue on CD or floppy? I can't find them on eBay, and Redwood Games sells them only as downloads. I would like to play them on a Windows 95 computer, and I've had no success using CDs burned in Vista or XP on it.

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