GAMES:Star Wars: Dark Forces

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Star Wars: Dark Forces
Dark Forces Box Cover.jpg
Box art for Dark Forces
Developer LucasArts
Publisher LucasArts
Released 1995
Status Perfect
Tested on 0.74
Tested game version 1.0 (Build 2)
Links Compatibility List
Commands
Executable DARK.EXE
Installer INSTALL.EXE
Setup SETUP.EXE
DOS Extender
DOS4GW.EXE Externally
Works with DOS32A Yes

Star Wars: Dark Forces is first-person shooter (single person only - no multiplay) that is halfway between the basic playability of Doom and the advanced playability of Duke Nukem 3D.

Contents

Making it work without the CD

Even if you choose full installation, the game still demands you to insert the CD every time you want to play. Luckily, it just does a simple file check. So here's how to bypass that check:

  1. Run the (obviously full) installation. For this example, let's assume you installed the game to c:\games\DARK\
  2. Copy D:\CD.ID to c:\games\DARK\
  3. Edit DRIVE.CD (e.g. c:\games\DARK\DRIVE.CD) and change X to C (or whatever your hard drive is).
    • DRIVE.ID doesn't support more than one letter. If it's a problem for you, you can leave the original DRIVE.ID alone (assuming it contains the letter D), and alternatively put this dosbox.conf file in c:\games\DARK\ :
      • [autoexec]
      • mount d .

Now you can play the game without the CD!

Optimum configuration

See personal suggestions in the talk page.


The 3-level-only demo

Star Wars: Dark Forces SE (Freeware Demo)
Developer LucasArts
Publisher LucasArts
Released 1995
Status Perfect
Tested on 0.72
Tested game version 1.0L (Build 1)
Links Compatibility List
Commands
Executable DARK.EXE
Installer D:\DARKSE\INSTALL.EXE
Setup SETUP.EXE
DOS Extender
DOS4GW.EXE Externally
Works with DOS32A Yes

This is a freeware demo that lets you play only the first 3 levels. Once you complete level 3, the "next mission" button is just treated like the exit button (both display an ad for the full game before exiting).

Installation requirement

D:\DARKSE\INSTALL.EXE has a special requirement. You must MOUNT the entire CD-ROM drive and only then "CD" your way into it (in other words: you can't just directly mount DARKSE itself). Here is how to do it:

Z:\>mount d d:\
Z:\>d:
D:\>cd DARKSE
D:\DARKSE>install

Making it work

The game will run quite well in DOSBox, but there are two points to note:

  • Run SETUP.EXE (it will also run automatically after a successful completion of the installation) and choose your settings.
  • While the game has no CD protection per se, there is no choice for a full installation. Therefore, most of the game is played directly from the CD-ROM. Use this dosbox.conf file to support that behavior:
[autoexec]
mount d d:\ -t cdrom

(assuming your CD-ROM drive is D, of course)

Making it work without the CD

Since the game has no CD protection, but also no choice for a full installation, here is a way to copy just the needed files from the CD-ROM and thus simulate a CD-free full installation:

  1. Install the game. For this example, let's assume you installed it to c:\games\DARKSE\
  2. Create c:\games\DARKSE\CD
  3. Copy D:\CD.ID to c:\games\DARKSE\CD\
  4. Create c:\games\DARKSE\CD\DARKSE
  5. Create c:\games\DARKSE\CD\DARKSE\DARK
  6. Copy every GOB file that doesn't already exist in c:\games\DARKSE\ to c:\games\DARKSE\CD\DARKSE\DARK\
  7. Create c:\games\DARKSE\CD\DARKSE\DARK\LFD
  8. Copy every LFD file that doesn't already exist in c:\games\DARKSE\LFD\ to c:\games\DARKSE\CD\DARKSE\DARK\LFD\
  9. Put this dosbox.conf file in c:\games\DARKSE\ :
[autoexec]
mount d cd -t cdrom

Now you can play the game without the CD!

Tip for those who eventually move from the demo to the full game

The demo version and the full version share the same save-file (DARKPILO.CFG). Therefore, if you like the demo and end up getting the full game, just copy over DARKPILO.CFG from the demo to the full game, and you'll be able to start playing directly in level 4 with your saved player from the demo.