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Beyond Castle Wolfenstein Re-Compiled 64

Posted by simoniker
from the back-to-the-classics dept.
hypethetica writes "In memory of game developer Silas Warner, a fan-based port of the original PC boot-diskette version of the 1985 classic, Beyond Castle Wolfenstein, has been disassembled, CPU speed fixed, and Soundblaster support has been added. The new game executable, blessed by Silas' widow, runs in DOS, Windows, and DOSBox emulators. Both the executables and source code (x86 assembly) are available for download."
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Beyond Castle Wolfenstein Re-Compiled

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  • by lunarscape (704562) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:54AM (#9560849)
    There are still some minor timing issues left, but it's certainly playable on my P4 here at work--er, I mean, at home. Yes, home.

    The guy who did this (jeff?) seems to want to remain fairly anonymous for some reason. I couldn't find any info on who he really is on his page. It's the same guy who did the Jumpman conversion a while back.

    Oh! And he's looking for another project!!! Who are you so I can send you my shelf-full of old DOS games I can't play anymore??? (Though I'm sure none of the disks work anymore.)

    Actually, he has a pretty nice tutorial [oldskool.org] on how to recreate source from bootable games and how to implement speed fixes. It's a pretty nice read.

    • by wcb4 (75520) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @12:19PM (#9561125)
      And he's looking for another project

      I vote vote Sun Tzu's Ancient Art of War.. I loved that game. Found a copy a year or two ago and it was unplayable (enemies moved so fast you could not counter) Would love to play that one again though, wasted many , many hours back in college playing it.
      • I second this motion. I loved Ancient Art of War (wasn't so in love with Ancient Art of War at Sea, though). One of the first games I played with an editor that actually had me exchanging my maps with friends. Very good times.

        some other old school games that I enjoyed and wouldn't mind revisiting: Lode Runner, Archon, and Lemmings (the world would be a much better place if we all had hundreds of exploding lemmings at our disposal)
      • Good lord. Ancient Art of War... that brings back memories..

        I vaguely recall playing that on an EGA (?) screen, and shuffling archers and barbarians around the map.
      • try downloading dosbox and playing it in that. It allows you to speed up and slow down the cpu speed so you can play most older games. Its brought tons of my old games back to life.
    • hmm...
      prince of persa, karateka, another world, test drive

      ah, the memories...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Vampyr: The Talisman of Invocation [the-underdogs.org]

      They titled it incorrectly on the site. Awesome old school RPG, but it runs way too fast.
    • by hypethetica (739528) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @01:15PM (#9561837) Homepage
      I'm not really annonymous (the source code at least has my first and last name in it.)

      I just want the attention to go to the game and the nostalgia, not to me. The last thing I want is to take credit away from the original author.

      Thanks for the comments and for trying it out. I hope it works for you and brings back some old times.

      -jeff!
    • I'd like to see "7 Cities of Gold" redone. I'd also like to know how the heck you establish a self-sustaining colony in that game! I never did figure out how.
      • IIRC, the only way to do this was to create a "Mission"-type fort, by dropping off lots of men at a native village. I don't remember for certain, but I think you can do it with a lot fewer men by converting the natives - something that in and of itself I never was able to do with any regularity.
      • Dan/Dani Bunten made them both.

        M.U.L.E. has no PC version however.

        - John H.
    • The list could be endless....however, a few jump to mind immediately: -The Bard's Tale (though a remake is in the works, so this may not qualify at this time) -The entire Sierra library of games (King's Quest, Space Quest, Heart of China, Red Baron, Aces of the Pacific) -Wing Commander and Privateer several of these may be playable with DosBox now...but a nice Windows executable would be a nice alternative.
  • Awesome (Score:5, Interesting)

    by th1ckasabr1ck (752151) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @11:55AM (#9560851)
    I wish more older game companies would release newly compiled versions of their games, or at least make them open source so that fans can go ahead and do it themselves. And it doesn't have to be a free for-the-fans type move, in a lot of cases I am more than willing to pay for a version of an older game that could run on my current machine.

    John Carmack mentioned something in his GDC talk about how he would consider letting outside companies remake the older id games with the DOOM3 engine and sell them at a discount price. This would send me running to the stores the second they are released.

    • I was talking with my friends about this on the weekend... how cool it would be to remake DOOM and DOOM II with the DOOM3 engine. I'd definitely put some money down for that.
      • Re:Awesome (Score:3, Interesting)

        by foidulus (743482) *
        I was talking with my friends about this on the weekend... how cool it would be to remake DOOM and DOOM II with the DOOM3 engine. I'd definitely put some money down for that.
        Well, Doom 3 is supposed to be a re-telling of the original doom...though no word on doom 4 being a re-telling of doom 2 :P
        • Well, Doom 3 is supposed to be a re-telling of the original doom...though no word on doom 4 being a re-telling of doom 2 :P

          Well if there's no double-barrelled shotgun in Doom 3, we'll know what's in store for us...

    • Re:Awesome (Score:1, Offtopic)

      • remake the older id games with the DOOM3 engine and sell them at a discount price

      Why port to the doom3 engine, and not simple SDL or something?
      That would require re-creating all the game graphics in 3D, makes no sense..
    • "John Carmack mentioned something in his GDC"

      You wouldn't happen to have a link would you?
      -m
    • Are the Doom / Quake / Whatever engine APIs backwards compatible??? They're probably vaguely similar but I imagine it would be a pretty significant porting job to get the original Doom to build against the Doom 3 engine.

      That said, open sourcing old games would be (and is ... ID) very cool. I still fire up the original SimCity on my laptop once in a blue moon. That has to be at least circa 1991. Having the sources would allow for some pretty interesting modding.
      • I agree. I've always wanted a larger land map, or presents/buildings like in Simcity for the SuperNES, etc. However since EA owns Maxis now, we'll probably never see that.
        • That'd be like asking for Super Mario Bros. where you could jump twice as high. Part of the challenge of SimCity was cramming as many citizens as you could into 120x100 tiles. If you want a bigger land map, then spawn more ZSNES instances.

      • Are the Doom / Quake / Whatever engine APIs backwards compatible???

        Probably not. Porting would start with a map converter, hand-editing each map to bring it up to Doom 3 specs, and then making models for the enemies to replace the GBA-style scaled sprites. Because Doom had somewhat of a Robotron feel to it, with hordes coming at the player from all directions, the models would have to be much simpler at a given LoD than the models of Doom 3, which according to previews has a more Resident Evil style hor

    • Then go buy some games in the Classic NES Series for Game Boy Advance. <sarcasm>Heck, go buy Classic NES Series Pac-Man for $20, even when Wal-Mart is selling Pac-Man Collection (a GBA Game Pak containing Pac-Man, Pac-Mania, and Pac-Attack (a 'tris game) for GBA) for $10.</sarcasm>

      John Carmack mentioned something in his GDC talk about how he would consider letting outside companies remake the older id games with the DOOM3 engine and sell them at a discount price.

      I thought Id Software shu

  • by iocat (572367) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @12:24PM (#9561191) Homepage Journal
    Silas Warner was super cool. One of the few times I've ever been rendered speechless was when this giant guy handed me his resume at our GDC job booth. I was like, "Hi, ok you've worked at Virgin, you some Sega CD codecs... ... oh, cool... ... wait a minute... .... Holy Shit, You're SILAS WARNER!!"

    I think he got a kick out of it. Unfortunately we weren't hiring senior engineers at the time, so I never got a chance to work with him.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @12:51PM (#9561534)

    Don't confuse this with the iD/Apogee shareware game.

    It's more like Metal Gear Solid, but 2D. Not a shoot-em-up bloodfest, more of a stealth/strategy game.

    I remember the Commodore guys calling the PC Wolf3D a 'stupid action game'

    LOL

    cczz
    • by the_skywise (189793) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @12:58PM (#9561624)
      That was back in the days when most games consisted of mindlessly eating dots or mindlessly shooting waves upon waves of enemy something and strategy amounted to getting a power pill or not shooting friendlies, this game came along.

      You could change uniforms and sneak around as a guard. (Something today's games rarely let you do)
      Shooting treasure chests revealed ammo, uniforms, nothing, or sometimes exploded the entire room.
      Guards would shout at you in real speech!
      You could run away from guards by hiding in rooms until things cooled off.

      It was a huge change in complexity of games. Wolfenstein 3D was a great honorarium to it, but obviously not the same game.
      • You could change uniforms and sneak around as a guard. (Something today's games rarely let you do)

        I'm currently playing Commandos: Beyond the call of duty. I love those games. Too bad no 3 sucked though. (Dudes, more complexity doesn't make the game more fun)

      • I grok (Score:2, Interesting)

        by hung_himself (774451)
        Achtung Schweinhund!

        The scariest words that ever emanated from a 8 bit box as the SS guard rushes into the room guns blazing...

        Because the joystick was broken on the Apple ][ (owned by the most popular man in residence) my friend and I played using two paddles - one to control the gun and the other to move the prisoner which made it that much scarier as we tried to sneak up behind the guard to shoot him in the back - or worse - throw a grenade and not hit a wall and blow everyone smithereens

        Wolfenste
        • I remember getting a rush in BCW by using a dagger to silently backstab someone, and to hear their blood-curdling scream (not heard by the other guards, of course), There was even AI back then - if you point a dagger to a desk clerk, he gets out of his desk and tries to shoot you - he basically said, "You don't bring a knife to a gunfight" Try it out on the recompiled game :)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:49PM (#9562988)

      From the Wolf3D FAQ [wolf3d.co.uk].

      "The The idea for Wolfenstein came from an old Apple ][ game called Castle Wolfenstein that the id guys liked. They had come up with the idea of the 3D, texture-mapped, smoothly scrolling ngine, and needed a game to use it with. Castle Wolfenstein seemed ideal. They couldn't think of a better name, so their legal guys went out and got the copyright on the name, and Wolfenstein 3D was born!"

    • I have yet to play this, but from the screenshots and what you've just said, it appears to be more similar to the old metal gear games (metal gear, metal gear 2, MG solid snake, etc.) which were in 2D but still had the hide-and-seek elements.
      -ReK
  • Is this legal (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) <obsessivemathsfreak@@@eircom...net> on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @02:56PM (#9563085) Homepage Journal
    Considering that they disassembled a copyrighted piece of software, can they get sued under the DMCA?

    In fact can people get sued for even the simple possesion of a disassembler?
    • Re:Is this legal (Score:5, Informative)

      by hypethetica (739528) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @03:12PM (#9563261) Homepage
      Yes it's legal. I knew this question would be raised, so I added a thingy in the faq:

      In October of 2003, congress passed 4 clauses to the DMCA which allow reverse engineering for this type of application.
      Specifically "3. Computer programs and video games distributed in formats that have become obsolete and which require the original media or hardware as a condition of access. ...The register has concluded that to the extent that libraries and archives wish to make preservation copies of published software and videogames that were distributed in formats that are (either because the physical medium on which they were distributed is no longer in use or because the use of an obsolete operating system is required), such activity is a noninfringing use covered by section 108(c) of the Copyright Act."

      -jeff!
      • Legal status (Score:5, Informative)

        by 0x0d0a (568518) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @04:42PM (#9564334) Journal
        Take another look at the text [66.102.7.104] involved.

        The exemption is *only* WRT reverse-engineering on anti-circumvention on software to which you are able to do what you're doing under copyright law. It does *not* provide a new fair-use exemption under copyright law.

        The DMCA's clauses providing exemptions for reverse engineering to ensure compatibility do not extend to shielding one from copyright infringement. The original work is still copyrighted. Just because you (may) not be hit by the DMCA's anticircumvention laws doesn't mean that you are legally clear in regard to the actual copyright on the software. You have modified a disassembled copy of the original (rather than producing a clone, which would be legal), and hence are distributing a derivative copy of a copyrighted work to which you do not own the copyright or a license to the copyright. The DMCA doesn't concern you -- traditional copyright law does.

        The clause in the DMCA gives the example of the Internet Archive needing to be able to put software to which they *have rights* and are not infringing on copyright ("If the Internet Archive is given computer software..."). The exemption only allows them to modify the software. It does not grant them more rights under copyright law.

        Read discussion here [arstechnica.com]

        The extent of this ruling is to cover people that write and apply cracks that allow software to run on newer media formats that would otherwise not have the right to do so (If the CD becomes obsolete, it is legal to bypass Safe CD). It does not mean that any works that are protected by Safe CD become public domain.

        It is possible that Silas' widow owns the copyright, if Silas published his own game. In this case, she probably *does* have the ability to grant you distribution rights, and you're fine.
        • Re:Legal status (Score:4, Informative)

          by hypethetica (739528) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @05:06PM (#9564665) Homepage
          It is possible that Silas' widow owns the copyright, if Silas published his own game. In this case, she probably *does* have the ability to grant you distribution rights, and you're fine.

          Which she has. I probably should have quoted the entire section from my FAQ:
          Q) Do you have the rights to distribute this game?

          A) Yes. Silas Warner's wife has granted permission to release the source code and game executables as a small memorial of his work.
          id Software owns the name "Wolfenstein", but not this particular piece of work. id's legal department has been notified of this project, and so far, have not stepped in to shut it down. Sometimes it's easier to ask for forgiveness than to get permission.
          Hopefully anyone who sees the effort involved in returning this piece of software to the modern world will see that it was done as a labor of love, not as a way to line pocketbooks.
          --

          DMCA wise, I guess it's kinda grey. It allows for reverse engineering to bypass protection (which I did), but not neccesarily for releasing the whole friggen source code! ;) I did spend some serious time searching for some kind of ruling for/against this type of work, but I couldn't find anything to support either case, as this is a rather unusual situation.
          As if it's not obvious, IANAL. I'll gladly seek your councel if the hammer comes down on me for doing this, but I think I can sleep soundly.
          -jeff!
          • sheesh, I'm replying to my own comments...

            FWIW, I've now changed my FAQ about my legal rights to distribute this game, from "YES!" to "HOPEFULLY!" ;) and provided a bit of an explanation as to why I believe it's not a problem.
            http://www.oldskool.org/pc/BCW/faq.html [oldskool.org]

            -jeff!
          • Oh, IANAL as well. Pretty much assumed unless "AIAL" is included. That's just my reading.

            I certainly appreciate what you've done, and I'm not trying to attack it, but better to be safe than sorry, you know? I've seen some nice volunteer folks get horribly screwed over by rather nasty people that bought someone else out or changed their minds (Blizzard and bnetd, SCO and Linux), and I wouldn't want someone distributing your software (say, Red Hat) to get nailed because there might have been a mistaken re
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Fantastic! I feel so much better about pirating games for WinXP! After all, linux makes it obsolete...
  • Slashdotted already? Sad....
  • by Teddy Beartuzzi (727169) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @04:59PM (#9564584) Journal
    Robot War [mobygames.com]

    I can't count the hours I spent tweaking, compiling, and testing robots. Great fun.

    Even wrote myself a disassembler, to see how other robots worked.

  • Great job for the crew that did this, but idSoftware did it a hell of a lot better with creation of Wolfenstein 3D. With the current creations of the assortment of Return to Castle Wolfestein titles, I believe we all owe ID a huge favor. *bows to John Carmack*
    • This game has very little to do with the later games by id, and was not written by them. This game was written by Silas Warner, and it's not really an action title, like Wolf3d and RTCW are.
      -ReK
      • No. I think you just didn't read what I had to say correctly.

        I'll put it in small terms. I like the idea of what they are doing, but I don't think it's anything compared to what idSoftware has done. I know that they didn't do this ... And yes. The first Wolfenstein was a side scroller... Wolf3D and RtCW innovated that by making it an FPS. John Carmack is still a genius nonetheless. Which do you think would be harder to make? Once again, props to the crew that made this... but other than fellow programm
        • And yes. The first Wolfenstein was a side scroller...

          No, from what I can tell, it was considerably more than that. Pre-Solid Metal Gear is a closer match.

          Wolf3D and RtCW innovated that by making it an FPS.

          Creating the FPS is innovation. Riding that one-trick pony to the bank over and over and over again is not. Since Wolf3D, id has been evolutionary rather than revolutionary. All they do anymore is shooters.

          John Carmack is still a genius nonetheless.

          This may very well be, but I wish he'd apply
  • by Creepy (93888) on Tuesday June 29, 2004 @06:35PM (#9565593) Journal
    I remember getting a mod of Castle Wolfenstein called Castle Smurfenstein, complete with audio encoded smurf song and a bloodcurdling scream.

    Not too long later I got the mod to dino eggs called Dino Smurfs. Oddly enough, I'd purchased both games retail (a rarity back then).

    Interesting... I googled on it and find out today the series came out in reverse order, or at least was meant to come out in a different order - look here [uic.edu] for Dead Smurf Software info. Apparently Tom Hall of Id thought it was the first mod too [uic.edu] (actually the first total conversion). It seems an appropriate next step to some of the stuff that was happening at the time (I had friends that created a popular Ultima editor, and we were huge WizEdit fans [and later the better Wizardry Scenario Editor] for Wizardry).
    • (I had friends that created a popular Ultima editor, and we were huge WizEdit fans [and later the better Wizardry Scenario Editor] for Wizardry).

      They wouldn't have been called "Magicsoft", by any chance? Creators of "Wizards Workbench", a Wizardry editor? (don't recall the Ultima editors, but I think one was plainly "Ultima IV construction set"). I liked the Wizardry editor...a friend and I made up our own scenarios and exchanged them. Powerful editor. The Ultima ones were pretty nifty too. I beli

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