Sunday, 15 April 2012

Captain Blood - Assistance Required

I've started playing around with Captain Blood to make sure I can play the game. I'd hate to waste my time doing an introduction post, only to find out the game is unplayable. It sure looks like a complicated beast to play, but I'm also likely to face some technical challenges.

I notice on a few sites out there that people are playing Captain Blood on the PC in EGA rather than CGA. Can anyone explain how they're achieving that? Even if I select EGA in DBGL, I still only get CGA. Any suggestions for other things I can try? Points given for any helpful advice.


This is how it looks for me.


This is how it looks on Moby Games.

EDIT: I've now looked into this further and have found that there are numerous versions of Captain Blood available for download. From what I can tell, the majority of these versions don't have EGA as an option. Unfortunately, the one I've found that does is the only one that I can't get to work. It freezes as soon as I press enter on the setup screen.


Here's the setup screen for the one I can play. Notice there's no EGA option available.


Here's the setup screen for the one that freezes. Notice there is an EGA option.

I'm going to keep playing around but any info would be much appreciated.

EDIT: I've got it working! Never have I spent so much time trying to get a game to run properly. Having this blog really drives me beyond my normal patience thresholds. I hope the game is worth it!

For anyone wanting to play Captain Blood on the PC in EGA, here is what you need to do. The game will only run off a real floppy image, so you need to use a bootable floppy. I found the answer in the Vogons forum so can't take the credit, but here's the instructions.

1) Find a bootable DOS floppy image from wherever. (MS-DOS, FreeDOS, Win9x rescue, it doesn't matter, as long as it's a .img floppy image.)
2) Download DiskExplorer from http://hp.vector.co.jp/authors/VA013937...dex_e.html and open the .img floppy image.
3) If there's not enough free space on your bootable floppy image, delete stuff until there's enough space. (Generally you can delete everything except for command.com and the .sys files, other than config.sys.)
4) Go to File->Import . Find the folder containing all the files from Captain Blood, select all the files, and click Open.
5) Close DiskExplorer and open DOSBox. Type "boot [whatever the path is to your .img file]".
6) Type "BLOOD" and the game should start.

The EGA version of the game can be found here:

Works perfectly! :)


This is how mine looks now! The game looks complicated as hell though, so I might regret the effort.

17 comments:

  1. Not much help I'm afraid, I tried a few versions and ran into exactly the same problems as you.

    Someone did suggest a clean boot though:
    http://www.xtcabandonware.com/forum/index.php?topic=251

    Similar advice but in french: http://www.abandonware-forums.org/showthread.php?22133-Captain-Blood

    (I think the final recommendation in the french forum is to use the atari st version).

    Although DOSBox says it's supported, I can only think that it means the CGA version.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Andy, but I've managed to solve my own problem. :)

      I'm going to give you 10 points anyway, because this probably would have led to the answer and you put the effort in.

      Delete
    2. Thanks! Looking forward to seeing more from Captain Blood, there seem to be mixed feelings about it from what I read, but some people suggest it's an underrated classic.

      Delete
  2. There should be a trick to skip the "canyon flying" part of the game (like pressing the escape key or something like that). It's fun at the beginning but it becomes pretty tedious after some time.
    Have you found a copy of the short story that comes with the game? It really helps understanding the story.

    Have fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I've got the story and am about to read it. I must say everything to do with this game is more than a little bit strange. We'll see whether it all comes together to make a satisfying gaming experience.

      Delete
    2. Well, on Wikipedia, there's a description of the kind of PR stunts the developpers' team used to organize: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ERE_Informatique (Exxos).
      So yeah, strange, to say the least :).
      If you have a chance, try the Atari version, I think that's the only one that had music (well, you have to be able to bear JM Jarre, but it's actually pretty nice).

      Delete
  3. Is the control scheme poking eyeballs with a finger? Cause that would be awesome. Confusing, but awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  4. CGA is unbeautiful in any case, but the pink/turquoise scheme is a dosbox problem. You should be able to get a better picture using machine = CGA in the configuration file.

    Here's a link to more than you ever wanted to know about dosbox graphics:
    http://ipggi.wordpress.com/2008/03/16/dosbox-graphic-and-machine-emulation-cga-vga-tandy-pcjr-hercules/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ....unbeautiful? *twitch twitch twitch* *Canageek explodes, spraying the walls with English geek brains*

      Delete
    2. Canageek: You just don't understand how unugly a creative use of English can be ;)

      In a more serious tone, some of us are non-native commenters, so the most proper English shouldn't always be expected.

      Delete
    3. Should I have said unlovely? :)

      Delete
  5. Actually unlovely is a word. English is crazy like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I contend that unbeautiful is a word, too. In Newspeak, anyway.

      Delete
    2. Actually, it is listed in the OED, though not with any examples of use for the past 200 years. I guess I can let it pass. v.v

      Delete
    3. *smacks Canageek with a descriptivist's Paddle of Pluralism*

      Delete
  6. Captain Blood can be streamed or downloaded from Archive.org at:
    https://archive.org/details/zx_Captain_Blood_1988_Exxos_128K
    https://archive.org/details/zx_Captain_Blood_1988_Exxos_a_128K
    https://archive.org/details/zx_Captain_Blood_1988_Exxos_a2_128K
    I have no idea what the difference between the three versions is.

    This version you CAN download or play in browser if you don't want to mess around with emulators (Downside, you can't save).

    ReplyDelete