Monday, January 05, 2009

DOS Games

So, before I get to talking about more social issues that might get me attention, I decided to share the joy of DOS games. After discovering the numerous uses for DOSBox, it wasn't that long until I figured it was time for DOS games!

Now, I have some CDs from WAY back in the day. Some games I would play when I was six on my Windows 95 machine. In fact, just recently I discovered them and thought, "Would I be able to play these on linux?" I recently had success with a really old SEGA Genesis emulator I had, and playing the ROMS using dgen in Ubuntu.

Since I've been sick the past couple days, I haven't really been in the mood to do winter schoolwork, so I got started on this project. For this post, we'll do a REALLY popular and addictive game, Jazz Jackrabbit. Usually, if you have, or can find, the install files for a DOS game, DOSBox'll have you set. But for Jazz Jackrabbit, it's a little bit tricky. It's most commonly distributed in its shareware form, however PCLinuxOS has a package for DOSBox which includes the full Jazz Jackrabbit game, so we'll use that. If you could find the full game online, well... now you'll know how to install it! First, we wanna make a directory for our DOS games, with Jazz being our first, so do that either graphically or with
mkdir ~/dosgames
Now, fetch the PCLinuxOS package. You can do this either with your favorite browser, or with
When I initially tried this, I installed it via alien (which is possible. Though, I wouldn' t recommend installing packages through alien if they're actually programs instead of DOS games). However, this created permissions problems that didn't let me save any settings, so we're gonna install it so that you, the user, has the permissions! However, if you want every account on the computer to be able to play, you can do that, but you'll have to tweak the permissions a bit. We'll skip that in this guide.

So now you'll want to extract the files, you can do that via the GUI (right-clicking and pressing "Extract Here", which I recommend) or using this command (fulfilled dependencies not guaranteed):
rpm2cpio mypackage.rpm | cpio -vid
In either case, you should have a folder named "usr" now. Go ahead and descend into the directory: usr->share->dosbox. Now you should run into a folder called "jazz". It is this folder you want to move to your ~/dosbox folder. So you can either copy/paste it there, or use
cp -r ~/usr/share/dosbox/jazz ~/dosbox
Now you've got your files all set up, all you have to do is run 'em! But don't delete the usr/ folder just yet, it still has one more trick up its sleeve. But now, all you have to do is type in
dosbox ~/dosgames/jazz/JAZZ.EXE
But let's say you don't WANNA put that in, you want a menu option. Well, that's what we saved the usr/ for! If you go to usr/share/applications/, you should see a file called pclinuxos-dosbox-jazz.desktop. As the path suggests, you'll want to eventually put this file into /usr/share/applications, but we have to make a small correction. So use
gedit ~/usr/share/applications/pclinuxos-dosgames-jazz.desktop
to open gedit (using nautilus is tricky for this). And change line 5 so that it says
Exec=/usr/bin/dosbox /home/YOURUSER/dosgames//jazz/JAZZ.EXE -exit -fullscreen
Where YOURUSER is your username. Now, if you want, you can rename the file, so that you don't have something that says PCLinuxOS in your Ubuntu system (But make sure it ends with ".desktop". And lastly, move it to where it belongs with
sudo mv ~/usr/share/applications/pclinuxos-dosbox-jazz.desktop /usr/share/applications/
Now, you should have a nice menu icon in Applications>Games>Jazz Jackrabbit. And that should... be it! I hope you enjoy your new Jazz Jackrabbit game, and if you're feeling daring enough, try it with Jazz Jackrabbit 2. This method should generally apply to all distros, including OS X and Windows. DOSBox works for all of those, the main thing you need to do is get those Jazz data files. However, the technical stuff isn't done yet, I might have another guide I'll put up for you guys. But cheers for now, and I managed to make another post, YES!

1 comment:

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