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MrFlibble

Warcraft: Orcs & Humans (Mac version)

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In the early-mid 90s, when the default screen resolution for many DOS games was 320x200, Macintosh computers already used 640x480 by default. This is why some Mac ports of PC or console titles received updated graphics to match the increased resolution compared to the originals.

The Mac version of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans also got a graphics upgrade, as is evident from these reviews (preserved by the Wayback Machine):

http://www.macledge.com/Reviews/warcraft/warcraft.html

http://www.game-revolution.com/games/mac/warcraft.htm

http://www.macweek.com/mw_12-04-95/rev19.html

However, apparently it is almost impossible to find any good quality screenshots of the Mac version on the net these days. And even though a Mac demo was released by Blizzard, running it without a Mac is not possible.

There exist a number of free, open source Macintosh emulators (a good overview can be found at this site), however nearly all of them require a ROM image obtained from an actual Mac and a copy of MacOS to run. But recently I learned about an emulator (or rather, a compatibility layer) called Executor which does not have these requirements.

Originally a commercial product, Executor was released as freeware and open-sourced by the authors in 2008-2009. It can run Mac software for 68k machines and has versions for Windows, Linux and DOS.

I have tried several versions of this programme, and they are all capable of running Mac Warcraft. The latest DOS release runs the demo without any noticeable issues, except one: nearly all palettes are not displayed properly, as the game uses the Mac system palette instead.

This was a really serious issue, but thankfully Hallfiry wrote a Warcraft data extractor which supports the Mac demo (found here). With it, I was able to get the original palettes, and after some experimentation convert them into a usable JASC format (attached to this post). That way, screenshots taken with the DOS version of Executor in DOSBox can be fixed to display the proper colours.

Here's a small screenshot gallery of the Mac demo (a DOS version screenshot is included for comparison):

http://imgur.com/a/SR4Yu#0

JASC.zip

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Oh, wow. That looks seriously awesome.

I wonder if it'd be possible to still find the full mac game somewhere...

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Actually I thought you had a DOS CD version? If yes, then there's a chance it's a DOS/Mac hybrid CD.

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I remember you mentioned Redbook audio CD tracks in your version - or am I making things up?

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I love WC1 :) I played the game online too (in 2013). It is great fun but unfortunately hard to set up and sometimes a bit laggy.

 

There is a pretty good remastered version of the Human Soundtrack#2:

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I have a CD version but I don't think it's a highbrid, one of my friends gave it to me, stating he'd probably never play again. I looked at him like he was crazy.

Warcraft 1 was great.

 

Recently I've been reflecting a lot on old school gaming, and there's just something I really like about it. Well lots I really like about it. If I had the possibility I'd probably collect all sorts of old games like this, but I can't.

 

I wonder if there's a list somewhere of all the MAC games ever released, 'cause they don't have much as far as I know. Happy Mac gamers (the few they are) got to play warcraft :P

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No matter which console or computer. Old school always was original. Wc1 was a very good game with decent AI. Balance though was less then dune2 and warcraft 2. But it was a first timer for blizzard as well.

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On 28.01.2015 at 9:23 PM, MrFlibble said:

I have tried several versions of this programme, and they are all capable of running Mac Warcraft. The latest DOS release runs the demo without any noticeable issues, except one: nearly all palettes are not displayed properly, as the game uses the Mac system palette instead.

This was a really serious issue, but thankfully Hallfiry wrote a Warcraft data extractor which supports the Mac demo (found here). With it, I was able to get the original palettes, and after some experimentation convert them into a usable JASC format (attached to this post). That way, screenshots taken with the DOS version of Executor in DOSBox can be fixed to display the proper colours.

Here's a small screenshot gallery of the Mac demo (a DOS version screenshot is included for comparison):

http://imgur.com/a/SR4Yu#0

JASC.zip

Could you upload this pallete fix somewhere, i wished to fix retail MacOS version of the game to play under Dosbox/Executor

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On 29.03.2017 at 10:38 PM, Corak said:

Could you upload this pallete fix somewhere, i wished to fix retail MacOS version of the game to play under Dosbox/Executor

This fix does nothing in-game, it can be only used to fix the palette in screenshots that you take in DOSBox running Executor. The colours in the game are still all messed up.

However, Executor is open source software and I really hope someone may eventually tweak the code to produce a version that will run the Mac versions of Warcraft without any errors like the wrong palette. BTW, you can use the Windows version of Executor for better performance but then you won't be able to take screenshots that can be corrected for the proper palette.

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So the GOG.com version of Warcraft includes the ISO of the DOS/MAC hybrid release, and I have tried it out semi-successfully with the Executor:
https://imgur.com/a/8RdZnIZ

First I mounted the ISO as such in DOSBox (imgmount D <path and ISO file name> -t iso), and Executor can see the Mac content from the CD. If you simply use DOSBox it only sees the DOS version files. Cool

Further I can run the installer (had to set it to think the MacOS version is 7.0.0) but it ultimately aborts installation because it cannot find a System Folder on the target drive, and doesn't like the one I'm trying to feed it. That's nothing though because the game can be run straight from the CD - there are three separate folders for Minimum, Standard and Full install right there which I assume are plain copied to the hard drive during installation.

Everything works, there's even music in the main menu and during briefings but not during actual gameplay - possibly this explains why the CD Audio rips (including the one you can get from GOG.com) do not contain Menu and briefing music: these track might be in a different format.

But, there's the same problem as with the demo: the colours are all wrong:

zsOfMWf.png

Pnu9mf5.png

There's a glimmer of hope in this, because Executor is open source. Maybe someone who is interested could take a look and fix this problem. Then we'd have as close to a high-res version of the game running natively as possible.

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Posted (edited)

It looks like it is using the wrong colour palette.
I remember that WC2 had a configuration program. Which I mainly used for fiddling with the sound driver.
Perhaps your version has it too.
If so, check if you can find anything in it for the colour palette.

I suspect you went looking here:
http://en.nuqneh.com/blog/game/lets-run-the-original-warcraft-on-a-modern-computer

Edited by X3M

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Posted (edited)

Mode 13 is standard 320x200 256 colour mode. But this is about the mac version, which is 1. not DOS, 2. not 320x200. so I doubt any of that applies to it.

And that "Let’s run the original Warcraft" article also only handles the DOS version, despite talking about MacOS.

Edited by Nyerguds

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8 hours ago, MrFlibble said:

There's a glimmer of hope in this, because Executor is open source. Maybe someone who is interested could take a look and fix this problem. Then we'd have as close to a high-res version of the game running natively as possible.

Or you just post it on their bug tracker...

https://github.com/ctm/executor/issues

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If it is the dos/mac hybrid release...Maybe it is not as well. How can one be 100% certain?

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11 hours ago, Nyerguds said:

Or you just post it on their bug tracker...

https://github.com/ctm/executor/issues

Yeah, I also thought about it. Maybe even better post an issue at Executor 2000 which is an actively maintained fork.

From further playing about I now suspect that Executor simply fails to load the proper palette somehow. For example, after the Blizzard logo (also in the wrong pal) you first see the title screen like this briefly before it gets the normal palette. The same happens on win/lose tally screens. Also if during gameplay you select "About Warcraft" from the menu and then close the info window, the screen will be briefly rendered in the correct palette. It appears that loading the proper palette takes some time, at least in Executor, during which some errors occur for some reason. I'm hopeful that this can be remedied more or less easily.

11 hours ago, X3M said:

It looks like it is using the wrong colour palette.
I remember that WC2 had a configuration program. Which I mainly used for fiddling with the sound driver.
Perhaps your version has it too.
If so, check if you can find anything in it for the colour palette.

The observed behaviour is clearly an emulation bug that cannot be remedied by tweaking setup settings (FYI the Mac version does not have an external setup utility, everything is set in-game). I have already tried out most if not all options provided by Executor for configuring how an app should be running (including some of the command line options), although I do not deny that I might have missed something.

UPD: I just watched a video of how the game runs in a proper emulator and I'm almost certain that the palette glitches occur when the game is supposed to do fade-in or fade-out animations of the screen.

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I remember running this in a Mac emulator at one point. I generally worked, but was slow and choppy, and the sound/music didn't work.

What is Executor. exactly? A DOSBox-like program for Classic Mac?

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Can you compare with other emulators? Maybe it is the emulator.

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On 4/17/2019 at 11:13 PM, TaxOwlbear said:

What is Executor. exactly? A DOSBox-like program for Classic Mac?

It's not like DOSBox because it doesn't emulate the whole Macintosh hardware setup. It's more like Wine, a "compatibility layer" that translates Mac 68k commands to IBM CPU commands, as well as provides some free functionality similar to MacOS. Unlike "proper" Mac emulators like Basilisk, Executor does not require a Mac BIOS ROM or a copy of MacOS to run Mac apps.

On 4/18/2019 at 2:23 AM, X3M said:

Can you compare with other emulators? Maybe it is the emulator.

OF COURSE it's the emulator, the problem here is that other Mac emulators will not allow you to run the game unless you have an authentic Mac BIOS ROM and a copy of MacOS (see above), basically limiting the user base to owners of original Mac hardware and people who don't bother with copyright stuff. To the best of my knowledge, Executor is the only clean, ethical and open source way to run Mac 68k programmes (and Mac PowerPC ones if you can run Executor on a PowerPC machine) without actually owning a Mac of that type.

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