I haven’t played the game in quite a long while, and I said I should give it a shot, now that there’s the new year and some time to waste.
The only way to do it cleanly on Linux is, of course, to use WINE, the other option being a virtual instance of Windows (which is not as fun as people might think. So I mounted the Starcraft CDs (Broodwar as well) installed them and played them.
First problem: no sound. After restarting with OSS checked as the default for wine in winecfg, the sound worked again – but unfortunately, I can’t reproduce the reasons why the sound didn’t work (this really sucks, does anyone listen?).
Second problem: after a short while, the mouse moved incredibly sluggish and it was a very unpleasant experience to play the game. This problem is a known problem among the WINE users, and after checking the winedb informations, I found out that you need to create the following registry entry:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Wine/Direct3D , string entry: DirectDrawRenderer, value “opengl” (without the quotes). To edit this entry, run regedit. After running again the game, it worked smoothly.
Third problem: the disk kept spinning in my drive, and I really, really hate that. Actually, one thing I hate about the games I buy is that they force me to use their disk (with the notable exception of Guild Wars, which has an internet authentication, thus it doesn’t need to do that). This was so annoying I had to search a no-cd patch for Starcraft. And I found it. Offered by Blizzard. It seems that if you apply the patch for version 1.15.2 or later (1.16.1 was the version I used) they let the game work without the CD – you just have to copy the file install.exe from the StarCraft original CD as the file “StarCraft.mpq” in the Starcraft installation folder, and the file install.exe from the BroodWar CD to the file “BroodWar.mpq”. Again, no quotes.
One problem, and an annoying one, if you ask me. The patch will automatically close your session and throw you in the login screen. I don’t understand why, so if possible (internet available) make sure that you patch your game via Battlenet rather than running the patch. 🙂
Run it, and it works. No CD, and smooth, just as you wanted it. En taro adun, Executor!
Now I wonder… Does Blizzard have a no-cd patch for Warcraft II as well? 🙂
PS: for Warcraft II you have to mount the disk by hand. My solution after I made the disk image was to have a script as such:
sudo mount -o loop “$HOME/Games/Warcraft II BNE/war2bne.iso” “$HOME/Games/Warcraft II BNE/CD/”
pushd $HOME/Games/Warcraft\ II\ BNE
./Warcraft\ II\ BNE.exe