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Linux SCUMM Interpreter 87

Captain Zion writes "A portable, SDL-based SCUMM interpreter is available at sourceforge. With AGI and SCI interpreters available, do we have alternative interpreters for all major adventure systems?" I never got as hooked on the SCUMM games as the other systems, but Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle were smooth back in the day.
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Linux SCUMM Interpreter

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  • by Angry Black Man ( 533969 ) <vverysmartman@hot[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Saturday November 03, 2001 @12:06PM (#2516418) Homepage
    From my first hand use of the interpreter, there are two major things I'd like to see: 1) It would be nice with a more smooth scrolling method, like creating the whole background as an SDL_Surface, if that will cause no problems with the other objects which need to be drawn. 2)Any chance of putting sound support into the next version? Speaking to Serge (of SCUMMRev fame who also attempted a similar project to this) he says that although this would be hard to implement, it would fix a lot of timing errors in iMUSE games, especially MI2 which features heavy iMUSE usage. Also, I couldn't get FOA (CD or Floppy Disk) nor MI1 (White Label CD Edition or Bounty Pack edition) to work. It comes up with this error for MI1: 1 1, 2 2, 4 4 4, 20 38 21 10 20 19464 Error(0): askForDisk: not yet implemented! Press a key to quit. I'll answer any questions you guys have about it, and anyone else have any experience or can help me out? Thanks.
    • I finished DOTT on this earlier this week, so what is there is pretty complete. Also, Ludvig and I implemented the voice and sfx stuff earlier this week, though its not in CVS yet.
      • I've tried CVS, and for the demos I've tried (Sam and Max demo, DoTT demo, FoA demo) it works quite well. However, I have the CD full version of Sam and Max - unfortunately, much of it doesn't show up right, no background images hold (during the intro, the mad Doctor is all that shows up, and a lot of the time, parts of his face are disappearing). It's serious progress from the release snap that you have on the site, and it's certainly impressive work. Can't wait to play the whole game on Linux, maybe even with sound. :)
    • A brief run under gdb and a brief look in the source code.
      It's looking for monkey2.000 and monkey2.001 for some reasons.
      If you do a ln -s monkey.000 monkey2.000 and ln -s monkey.001 monkey2.001, monkey 1 will run!
  • Hooray! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by k98sven ( 324383 )
    Now Monkey Island lives again!

    Just one question: Does this violate the DMCA? Given the copy-protection schemes in the games, that is.
    • Monkey Island is already free :P tu re/escape_from_monkey_island.htm
      • That looks like a demo of Monkey 4, which has nothing to do with the copy protection in Monkeys 1 and 2.
      • just so you (and, well, everyone else) know(s) this link is dead. I believe that MI is still available for purchase from lucasarts directly, so most abandonware sites wont touch it. But lucasarts is not unkind - if you buy Curse of Monkey Island [] (the third MI) you also receive the first two (Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2). All this for 15 bucks! Call now, operators are standing by!
    • The copy protection in the Lucasarts Monkey Island games consisted of code wheels and things like that. It's unlikely the scummvm interpreter would block them (in fact, I checked, and it doesn't).
  • There's still a lot of support from the games community for SCUMM-style games, even if they're playing other games at the moment for lack of good point-and-click. All they need is a good adventure in the style of Day of the Tentacle or Sam and Max to recapture their interest.
  • Now we just need a GUI development environment.

    Let's face it: the person who has the talent and time to code a game is not always the same person who has the talent and time to script a story, draw the graphics or create sounds. We "need" tools to let these people work together to create the next Loom / The Dig / Monkey Island etc. And a way to get the story writers interested in the first place.
    • I am happy to hear you say this, because I absolutely loved loom, and it is often overlooked or forgotten even when other lucasArts games come up. Loom was awesome because of the story and the detail. Lucasarts whipped up an entire world with a remarkable amount of detail, especially for a relatively short game.
  • MI3 was fairly playable under Wine (with the occasional rough spot). Maybe it's time to dust off the first two and go through them again. Let's see, was it the blue and green drinks you mixed?


  • by unformed ( 225214 ) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @12:24PM (#2516446)
    I'm just a beginning programmer, so maybe I'm missing the point...

    But how exactly do you go about finding the detailsof the SCUMM syntax so you can make an interpreter for it. Is it all reverse-engineered or is there actually a doc available on it.

    Also, is the purpose of the interpreter so you can play the game on multiple platforms? If so, that's pretty cool: the fact that the game is written in an interpreted language and you just have to create an interpreter for the macinhe...

    anyways, it'd be nice if someone could answer those questions. Thanks
    • Well, for example, I got MI1 and 2 through a deal with the MI3 package, but both are DOS games. While they run ok, there's now a problem with sound in DOS games, particularly with most SB cards and newer mobos (generally, you always diable SB16 emulation, which disables the ability to use sound in games).

      With a Windows or Linux based system, the sound can now be processed by the modern drivers, and thus avoiding this problem with lack of sound. So being able to play these old games, just for the fun of it, is now possible again.

    • by eddy ( 18759 )

      It's reverse-engineering all the way. I know this because I've been doing a little of it myself for the old original-SCUMMs (Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken).

      Check the code if you don't believe me, you don't produce code (or identifiers) like that below from reimplementing something the clean way:

      if (dseg_4F8A) { screenEffect(_newEffect); dseg_4F8A = 0; clearClickedStatus(); }

      Good work, Ludvig.

    • >But how exactly do you go about finding the details of the SCUMM syntax so you can make an
      >interpreter for it. Is it all reverse-engineered or is there actually a doc available on it.
      I belive it's all reverse-engineered. Quite impressive, I know.
      (Having done some reverse-engineering of Lucasarts games myself. (My TIE-fighter cockpit has fuzzy dice!))
    • Reverse-engineering is the 'straightforward' path. The problem with this is that it raises copyright problems; if LucasArts cared, they might try to sue them (the Win32 only NAGI [] interpreter has the same problem).

      The FreeSCI project (and, for the most part, Sarien) have chosen the more painful path of a clean-room reimplementation for this reason: One group does the decoding and documents everything, the other group implements (and, occasionally, guesses). IANAL, but as far as I know, this is perfectly legal.
      (OK, reverse engineering for interoperability purposes is legal anyway, but not in some foreign countries like the US).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Time to bring on the PIRANAHA POODLES...
  • by recursiv ( 324497 ) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @12:40PM (#2516481) Homepage Journal
    ScummVM is an implementation of LucasArts's SCUMM interpreter, used in games such as Monkey Island and Day Of The Tentacle.
  • So, the legendary ghost pirate LeChuck has found another way to resurrected again, eh?

    Now, where did I put that root beer?
  • That's pretty sweet - Windows 2000 really doesn't get along with a lot of the old LA games. Now I might actually have a chance of finishing Sam & Max!
  • by mrAgreeable ( 47829 ) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @01:16PM (#2516544)
    Is Exult, at []. It's an intepreter for the Ultima 7 series of games. It's nearly perfect, and in many ways improved over the original. (Characters open doors, improved combat, higher res, antialiasing, etc)

    The copy protection is worth mentioning in those games. It wasn't built into the .exe so much as it was built into the game's scripting system, so to accurately port the game they had to port the copy protection. I actually had to go cosult the original docs to get past the copy protection. Which seemed crazy since the game was written for a different OS 12 or so years ago.

    You'll need the original data files to play it, of course, which I'm sure is the same with scummvm.
  • Running on OS X (Score:2, Informative)

    I got it running on Mac OS X, using the data files from the mac version of Monkey Island 2. I guess they are the same as the DOS version.

    I used Project Builder and the OS X version of the SDL Devkit.

    It seems to run ok! I changed it to run in fullscreen mode and it works without problems. (SDL is great!)

  • VDMSound (Score:3, Informative)

    by bis ( 4748 ) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @02:33PM (#2516694)

    This is somewhat offtopic, but if you're running some version of NT (4.0, 2000, XP), you can just run most DOS games with support for sound, using VDMSound [].

    I've played both Monkey Island and Monkey Island II with it; hearing the music and sound effects for the first time EVER almost brought a tear to my eye. (When I first played them, my PC didn't have a sound card, so it was all PC Speaker blips and beeps...)

    For Linux' DOSEmu, there's SBEmu [].

    Never having used that, I can't vouch for how well it works, but I don't think it's quite as advanced as VDMSound.

  • Having played all for of the monkey island games I would have to say that I thought the the Second one was the best. The whole spitting contest just cracks me up. I was disapointed in the last one. The whole ultimate insult thing I thought was pretty weak. The ending sucked too. It still had typical monkey island puzzles and gags though. I still enjoyed it.
  • Is the Interactive Fiction Archive [], which has many of the old text based adventure games available.

    Here, for example, are a bunch of interpreters [] for the InfoCom games (Zork, etc.) Check out the Emacs one! :)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I just played "day of the tentacle" from the beginning till the end without a single problem.
    The engine seems to already be quite stable.
  • Linux? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by thallgren ( 122316 )
    Not to be an antagonist, but why does the title say "Linux SCUMM Interpreter" when in fact I'm sure this works on most OS's?

    Regards, Tommy
    • Because using the magic "L" word gives you a that-much-higher probability of getting your story submission accepted and those magic 5 extra karma points.

      Mmmm.... karma... gagaghghhghagagagh...

  • by strigeus ( 534020 ) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @05:51PM (#2517173)

    I'm the author of ScummVM.

    I've support for iMuse (which is the music engine used in some SCUMM games) almost finished, but since iMuse is patented by LucasArts, I'm worried about releasing it because of possible patent infringements.

    Does anyone know anything about this, and if it's safe for me to release this source code?

    I do live in Sweden in Europe, and as far as I know, Europe is not covered by us patent laws.

    Ludvig Strigeus
    • by Peter K. ( 39572 ) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @06:13PM (#2517244) Homepage
      Hi Ludvig,

      I'm not sure whether or not there would be any issues with patent infringement, but it might be a wise idea to host the iMuse file on [] as a precaution. This way, Americans would be prohibited from downloading the file, which would help to avoid problems from US patents.

      Best Regards,
      Peter Knowles

      P.S. I look forward to giving ScummVM a test sometime. I've got a whole box of LucasArts games just waiting to be played. Thanks for giving me the opportunity.
    • Just remember to stay out of the US if you do....

    • by sela ( 32566 )

      IANAL, but it seems like since you are not living in the US, you are not facing any real risk.

      The only legal base ofr the prosecution of Dimitry was that he was allegedly traveling to the US to promote a product that violated the DMCA. If you distribute your code on a european server, then traveling the US should pose no problem as long as in have nothing to do with distributing your code.
      As long as you never knowingly distribute your code to the US, no violation is done.

      And anyway, it seems to me like, while LucaseArts are not likely to licence their patent to you for free, they are not likely to persue it vigorously either.

      My advice is: publish your code on a european server.
      In any case they are not likely to sue you without first sending you a warning. In case you get a "cease and desist" letter from LucasArts attornies you may decide to disable iMuse support and remove the old code from the server.
      • That advice is so bad it is almost legendary. One day, it will be ranked among the greats like "It's only a wooden horse, albeit somewhat large and unexpected. Let's bring it inside the gates and go to sleep!" or "Go ahead, taste it, it won't kill you!".

        Or have you forgotten the fate of Jon Johansen and his reverse engineered DeCSS code? I believe he was in Norway at the time.

        Normally I wouldn't flame, but c'mon, that was a Big Deal and it wasn't THAT long ago. And more than a little pertinent.
  • Yes, it runs on Windows too.
  • Fantastic (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    With this interpreter in the works, even more of the games I used to love (and still do, for that matter) are available on Linux. I think it's absolutely great that people have brought old favorites back, sometimes even better than the original.

    We have Frotz (including Kwest) and Zip for Infocom games, and you can get almost all of them in the Masterpieces of Infocom boxed set for a good price. In addition, there are many games created by fans of the genre as well that rival Infocom's best.

    There's Sarien, for all the old, great AGI games. Sierra's stuff is what I grew up on and it's great having them available. Sarien has some exceptionally cool features like a "hi-res" mode, picture viewer, debugger, etc. Plus you get the THREE channel sound that wasn't available to everyone.

    Also, FreeSCI, for Sierra's SCI games. Just as fun as the AGI games, with slightly better graphics... =) FreeSCI can use TiMidity to play the music, in addition to native MIDI, so almost anyone can get the feel of the old music in new-fangled (well, sorta) wavetable synthesis.

    Exult too, which lets you play Ultima VII. This is a VERY complete version, with many enhancements (800x600 and sweet scaling!)

    And now, of course, scummvm. Monkey Island 2 works very well. Excellent job, especially so early on in development (well, visible development).

    There may be others (please post if you know of them!). I'm just so glad to be able to go on nostalgia trips in my favorite OS.
  • Of course, you should look at my handle. Frankly, I have no idea what the hell SCUMM actually is, I suppose I should read the article.
  • I'm still compiling and hoping... if that one runs on my iPAQ, it'll be the ultimative game boy for a once hardcore LucasArts gamer.

    If it becomes possible to create new SCUMM content, it could even be "abused" as a small-screen user interface (or a similar one could be derived from the SCUMM concept) - simple and lean yet intuitive and powerful, without the need for a keyboard.
  • Linux gaming has finally caught up to point and click DOS gaming!!!
  • Now i can buy Sam'n'Max i saw in HMV and play my old monkey games!

    Though LEC have been shutting down fan development sites. I hope it doesnt happen for this. Hopefully LEC will see that it will open SCUMM games to a whole new audiance.
  • by Old Wolf ( 56093 ) on Sunday November 04, 2001 @02:24AM (#2518106)
    Isn't that the guy who translates bin Laden's press releases..?
  • I was just thinking in the shower this morning, wouldn't it be cool to have a SCUMM interpreter? Then we can make high-quality adventure games and all that. Opensource is bad-ass dude. Wish and ye shall receive. (Return in kind of course)
  • I'll probably get modded down for this, but has anyone seen an interpreter that can run the original Gabriel Knight, from Sierra? It's one of my all-time favorites, but it doesn't get on well with Windows 2000. None of the Sierra interpreters, like FreeSCI, seem to run it either...has anyone had more luck than me in getting it to run?
  • Wasn't there a project called SCRAMM which would allow people to make their own SCUMM-esque adventure games?
    • It used to be at, but not anymore.

      And IIRC there was a scummserv too, and not sure where it's gone now. :/

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. -- Thomas Alva Edison