Using a CD audio track emulator to remove final MGE CD reliance hurdle

Blake00

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As we all know @FoxAhead 's excellent Civ2UIA patch tool allows us to play Civ2 on modern 64bit operating systems and removes the CD check. Civ2's video folders on the CD (KINGS and VIDEO) can also be copied over to the Civ2 install folder almost totally removing the need for the CD. However as discussed over in the getting Civ2 back into digital stores voting thread one issue remains stopping MGE from becoming truly portable and CD free, the music! TheNameLess one was able to build a mp3 player replacement system into ToTPP for Test of Time so we know it's possible and plenty of us hold out hope that maybe FoxAhead will add the same functionality to his Civ2UIA tool for MGE. However in the meantime I might have an interesting alternative...

A helpful fellow over on the Civ2 Discord has informed me of a opensource github hosted program called ogg-winmm CD Audio Emulator that allows people to play ogg files instead of cd tracks with old games without having to hack the games themselves (other than if there's a DRM CD check with in Civ2's case Fox's tool already removes) and apparently even GoG have been using it!
https://github.com/bangstk/ogg-winmm

So perhaps if this is paired Civ2UIA then maybe we can finally have a truly portable version of MGE! And we (moreso me haha) don't have to keep pestering poor FoxAhead about adding this feature haha. Also in theory it could be used for scenario modding purposes since once you have MGE's soundtrack all in ogg files you can swap out the tracks for other music songs (similar to what we've seen in recently ToTPP mods).

I'm a bit busy atm but I'll try to run some tests on this soon. :)
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Hmm livinginaz just tried it with Civ2 over in my Civ1 version of this thread and it didn't go well! Hopefully I can have a go myself later in the week...

Was it confirmed that this worked for Civ2? I am having no luck at all. I am using Win2k but I assume XP and 7 will do the same. You will have to open the images to read, my screen is 1440p.

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By simply dragging the files as they are, the game will not work anymore. It throws this error, and no matter how many times you click OK it still fails.

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I renamed the winmm.dll file to win32.dll as mentioned in the readme. Now I can play the game. Interestingly it didn't tell me that it couldn't find the CD when I first opened the game, it went straight to the menu. But to no avail.

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I also noticed that there is no winmm.dll or win32.dll file in the game folder (or any subfolder) to begin with. Perhaps this is why it is not working... I tried it with some other programs that aren't games and it simply did nothing. Any tips as to what to do to rectify this, or whether it is in fact even possible?
EDIT: Although I noticed from those screenshots you're not using MGE, meaning you're running one of the old 16bit versions of Civ2. Does that mean you're running it with WineVDM? Lord_Hill was wondering over in the Civ1 thread if these two programs might interfere with each other. Oh wait no you said Win2K.. hmm I wonder if this program was designed for a more modern OS.
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So I got the chance to try it with the MGE version and Windows 7, using the original Civ2 songs. My findings were very surprising. I tried it first without installing Civ2UIA, and it worked. However, you cannot pick the music you want to listen to and there are very long periods of silence between the tracks (maybe it was always like that, I never played with my CD in).

half working.PNG
Just throws this error. Otherwise it does work and you even get the extended intro music on the menu. When I tried it with Civ2UIA, it does not work at all. However I notice that in the corner there is a track listing for a song called track 0 which does not exist.

Track stated in corner.PNG
Very weird. As a side note, with winmm.dll you must start with track02.ogg as track 1 is the data track on the CD. Even when the Civ 2 CD came up in my iTunes, it had "2" appended to the first song and so on, recognizing the fact that it's the 2nd track on the disc. I imagine that if you put this in a CD player you'd get the same result.

Also to address the earlier post in the thread, winmm.dll doesn't work with 16-bit apps therefore the original Civ2 is a no go. I did try the MGE with Win2k and got the same results as with Windows 7, it works but only partially. No big surprise, 2k and XP are basically the same, which this was supposed to work with.

Someone else may have better mileage than me though.
 
Interesting that you had some success, but not quite what I was hoping sadly. Oh well thanks heaps for testing this as it was gonna be a few days before I could!

The fellow on the Civ Discord that told me about it said he had to make a few tweaks to the civ2 exe around the cd detection algorithm back when he was using it. However I'm guessing the moment we start playing around with the Civ2 exe then FoxAhead's Civ2UIA patcher tool will stop working as the civ2 exe will be different.
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