Apparently Wine can run KnP games (e.g., Commander Keen 2000) now

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Apparently Wine can run KnP games (e.g., Commander Keen 2000) now

Post by NY00123 »

Hi again, and happy Mort Day / Late Keen Day! (Should still be Mar 14 e.g., in Hawaii, so I guess that it counts.)

For the Linux users (more generally non-Windows?) around here, I've just discovered that you can finally play old KnP games like Commander Keen 2000 with Wine, provided the right conditions are met.

It's been a very old issue, dating back to 2009 at the least. One of the few more specific duplicate bug reports (I've still experienced this with the version of Wine that is available as-is from Ubuntu 18.10's repository):

The report which, eventually, seemed to have most discussion, including the recent fix report:

Originally opened at 2009-07-29 22:00 CDT, this was reported as fixed in a comment from 2018-02-24 04:55:23 CST.

Given that I started using Linux distributions for real during 2005, it's probably no surprise that I still haven't really tried games like Commander Keen 3000, heh.

Please remember, though:
1. This may still fail to work for you.
2. Also recall that these games, and especially Commander Keen 2000, come long before we had the various mods of the original 90s titles; Not to talk about Keen Dreams and the related Catacomb 3-D titles getting open-sourced.

A few caveats for all users who try this out:
- You may need a more recent version of Wine than what you've gotten - 3.3 at the least. The Wine website suggests multiple branches (stable, development and staging), so further check all of these if you have problems.
- Better start from a clean Wine prefix, just in case. A 32-bit prefix is desired, along with selecting an older Windows version (like "Windows 95") under winecfg, although I've found out that a 64-bit one should work, at least for Commander Keen 2000.
- Additionally, you'll need compatible KNPG.DLL and KNPS.DLL files. A possible revision is described soon. It's possible that a specific game's copy (e.g., CK 2000) already comes with such DLLs, but they won't work well under Wine. Phenomenons like a black screen, or the following terminal message, are a possibility: "002c:err:ntdll:RtlpWaitForCriticalSection section 0x7e656340 "syslevel.c: Win16Mutex" wait timed out in thread 002c, blocked by 002b, retrying (60 sec)".
- For such compatible DLLs, check out the link to Mortuum mentioned in the above discussion on the Wine bug, since its installer should add the corresponding DLLs to c:\windows\system32 or c:\windows\syswow64.
- If you still have the above problems, (re)check if the game directory in question (like CK 2000) has the files knpg.dll and knps.dll. Try moving them out of there.
- Finally, for MIDI playback support, you'll have to either use compatible MIDI hardware/device, or a (compatible) software synthesizer. I've used TiMidity++ in ALSA server mode. Usually it isn't running, and this is how I've started it: "timidity -iAD -B2,8 -Os"
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