Friday, August 10, 2012

Archive Raiding: Just Pants

In the Summer of 1999, after messing around with Cool Edit for a bit and hearing about the likes of eJay, I was on the lookout for something that would be a cross between the two, and preferably at a fraction of the cost. A tall order perhaps, but without even trying I came across a bit of mixing software that did just that, on the budget PC rack of my local supermarket of all places. With a 20-track mixing program, a library of samples and a sound editor, it was exactly what I wanted for messing around with at the time. Over the following three years I got quite a bit of use out of it, and while I can't say I cranked out anything amazing during that time, I certainly had a lot of fun trying to. :) As promised/threatened back in January, below is the complete set of surviving tracks, and more!


Year: 1999 | Last Modified: 15 November 2005, 17:21:58 | Download

Once again exploiting SimCity 2000's rich sound effects library, the original version of this would be the oldest thing here, dating back to the Summer of '99, but I lost it in a botched system restore the following year. This is a remake from 2000, now with extra dolphins, for some fucking reason. Named after the time of day I originally finished it, this appeared for a while on my old web site as the equally generic sounding Liberation. A release I even slapped together some janky, low-res cover art for. Behold!

Hairy Ass

Year: 1999 | Last Modified: 15 November 2005, 17:25:52 | Download

This is the tune featuring my mate that I mentioned back in January. One Saturday when he was over I jammed a microphone in his face, to which he delivered an impressive stream of obscenities. The next time he was over I surprised him with the unpleasantly-named, cacophonous mess that I'd turned it into. I think we were both pretty pleased with the outcome. :D

Sitar and Synth

Year: 2000 | Last Modified: 04 July 2000, 22:00:36 | Download

A riff on the name of the 1999 Yomanda track, this does indeed feature samples of both the sitar and synth varieties. Probably one of the better tracks I came up with I think. It''s still extremely short though, and just like the others, it still jumps around from sample to sample like a kid hopped up on industrial-grade Pixy Stix. :D

Trigger Happy

Year: 2000 | Last Modified: 15 November 2005, 17:23:40 | Download

Oh dear. Another dark chapter in my war against learning French, this starts off with a sample of someone from a Learn to Speak French CD-ROM getting gunned down, before turning into a trance-y orgy of violence. Having also appeared on my old web site, this also had some amazing cover art accompanying it at the time; this time made from a magazine screen shot of GTA2.


Ladies and Gentlemen

Year: 2000 | Last Modified: 15 November 2005, 17:23:40 | Download

This one I remember starting work on the Sunday before I returned to school after the Summer of '99, the ticking clock representing the inevitability of said return. :D Somewhere along the way I added a generic talk show host sample to the mix. I don't know; I'm sure it made sense at the time. :D


Year: 2002 | Last Modified: 03 May 2002, 18:44:16 | Download

And just like that we've pretty much come to the end of my glittering array of floor-fillers. Like all my other dumb endeavours of the late 90's / year 2000, working on my crappy little web site at the time drew me away from messing around with this stuff almost entirely. And this was the last tune that I was aware of, at least until now. One that I remember tinkering around with ages to try and get it exactly to my liking. Something I'm not sure if I actually managed to do or not in the end.

Graphics I made to accompany the tracks I put on my site in 2008. The more things change, eh?

Master archive raider that I am though, I did actually find another rough, but complete track buried in a zip file from ten years ago. One that I never finished back in March 2002 and that I'd completely forgotten about since. Rather than going to the bother of inventing a name for this one I'll just go with the bad-ass codename I was using for it at time. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Song X:

Song X

Year: 2002 | Last Modified: ‎10 ‎March ‎2002, ‏‎21:44:14 | Download

Obviously an attempt to go for a longer track here. I don't think it quite succeeds in that respect and it's a bit messy in general, but still, I kind of like this; it's got an interesting sound to it. Unfortunately one that was a bit overpowered by some of the samples I had chosen at the time, so I had to dial some of them back a little before I put the finishing touches to this. And while I'm delving into some deep cuts, I thought I'd close things out with a selection of drum samples I made with the limited, but neat drum beat generator that came with the other programs. Most of these I don't think ever got used used in my illustrious mixing career for one reason or another. I'm guessing because of the terrible names. :D


Last Modified: ‎22 ‎April ‎2000, ‏‎23:04:20 | Download

Drum Beat 1

Last Modified: ‎22 ‎April ‎2000, ‏‎23:24:04 | Download

Close Hi Hat

Last Modified: ‎29 ‎April ‎2000, ‏‎19:51:26 | Download


Last Modified: ‎04 ‎July ‎2000, ‏‎20:02:16 | Download

Turbo Beat

Last Modified: 10 ‎July ‎2000, ‏‎22:25:20 | Download

Drum Beat 2

Last Modified: 24 ‎November ‎2001, ‏‎18:40:12 | Download

DJ JiliK out!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Let's Get Battle for Naboo Running on Windows 7


Like a number of games I've tried since I switched to Windows 7 64-bit, Battle for Naboo itself runs perfectly on it, but its 16-bit installer doesn't. To get it up and running with only the game's CD-ROM to hand, we need to both create an installation directory for it and add an entry for it to the Windows registry. So let's get started.

1. First we need to go to C:\Program Files [not C:\Program Files (x86)] and create a folder called Battle for Naboo.

2.  Now go to the Battle for Naboo CD-ROM and copy BattleforNaboo.exe from the root directory (D:\) and paste it into C:\Program Files\Battle for Naboo.

3. Next we need to build the rest of the installation directory by copying files from the Install folder on the CD-ROM and pasting them into C:\Program Files\Battle for Naboo. Here's what your finished installation directory is going to look like (folders are bolded):

  • C:\Program Files\Battle for Naboo\
    • BattleforNaboo.exe
    • data_pc\
      • saves\
      • bfn.exe
      • data.bin
      • data.hdr  
    • Install\ 
      • back.wav
      • click.WAV
      • doc.exe
      • launch.bmp
      • LecSetup.dll
      • license.txt
      • open.WAV
      • readme.rtf
      • readme.txt
      • setup.ini
      • start.WAV
      • syscheck.exe
      • trouble.rtf
      • trouble.txt
      • url.exe
Again, all the files you need are in the Install folder on the Battle for Naboo CD-ROM.

With the game's directory created, we now need to add an entry for the game to the registry. Normally this wouldn't be necessary, but unless the Battle for Naboo launcher detects that the game is installed on your machine, you'll get an "Install" option instead of a "Start Game" one, which is of course totally useless to us.

This is what we need to see.

5. So, open Notepad and paste the following into it:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC\Battle for Naboo\Retail]
"Analyze Path"="D:\\Install\\SysCheck.exe"
"CD Path"="D:"
"Executable"="C:\\Program Files\\Battle for Naboo\\data_pc\\BFN.exe"
"Install Path"="C:\\Program Files\\Battle for Naboo"
"Launcher"="C:\\Program Files\\Battle for Naboo\\BattleForNaboo.exe"
"Source Dir"="D:\\"
"Source Path"="D:"
"UninstallString"="C:\\WINDOWS\\uninst.exe -f\"C:\\Program Files\\Battle for Naboo\\Install\\DeIsL1.isu\" -c\"C:\\Program Files\\Battle for Naboo\\Install\\LecSetup.dll\""

6. Save the file as something.reg, making sure to select All Files from the Save as Type drop-down menu before you save it. I've called mine naboo.reg here:

7. Next we need to open the Registry Editor.
  • If you're using the 32-bit version of Windows 7: Go to the Start Menu, type regedit into the search box and hit enter.
  • If you're using the 64-bit version of Windows 7: Go to the Start Menu, type %SystemRoot%\SysWOW64\regedit.exe into the search box and hit enter. Just typing "regedit" here won't work for this. (The 64-bit version of Windows 7 has two different versions of the Registry Editor. Just typing in "regedit" here will only open the 64-bit one. It's the 32-bit version we need to use for this.)
You can check which version of Windows 7 you have by going to Control Panel>System and Security>System. It will be listed as System Type in the window that comes up.

8. Drag and drop your .reg file into the Registry Editor window and that should be it.

9. Launching C:\Program Files\Battle for Naboo\BattleforNaboo.exe show now present you with a "Start Game" option. Hooray! It's probably a good idea to make a shortcut to this now so you don't need to go poking around in Program Files every time you want to play the game.

And we're off. You'll probably need to switch the controls from inverted too. Who on earth thought that was a good default for Mouse and Keyboard?

Well, hopefully that should do the trick. Bear in mind though that I've only tested this out on Windows 7 Service Pack 1. Who knows what will and won't work on Windows 8 and beyond.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

World Rally Fever: The Road to Victory Finale

 Part 1 Part 2Part 3

31/08/11 - Currently banging my head against Kyoto in the Pro Cup. If I don't make some progress soon, I think I'm going to throw in the towel here. - JiliK's Backloggery

I'll level with you guys here. A few days after I scrawled this on my Backloggery, with no progress to show, I did throw in the towel. When I started writing this feature up, I hadn't actually touched this game in almost nine months, and as much I saw the need to finish it now that I'd started this, I really didn't think I was up to the task. The Hawaii tracks aside, this cup started off with easily the two most insane courses I'd encountered in the game up to that point, and as much experience as I had playing this game, I just wasn't able to crack them.

I planned to take on the Pro Cup again at some point before I finished this feature, but then something happened that not only got me back playing the game immediately, but also kept me motivated all the way to the final chequered flag: someone beat me to the punch. Out of the blue, another YouTube user started, and finished the game over the span of like, a week, handily beating my efforts and leaving my precious nerd cred in tatters. :D There was only way to redeem myself now: I needed to beat this fucking game for once and for all, no matter what it took.

France (Pro)

Remember how I mentioned this game's love for putting walls where they just don't belong? Well, this track's the poster child for that. The four interlocking walls halfway around the track are the main culprit in this respect, requiring some very tight, careful manoeuvring to take at speed; something that only came to me after a lot of trial and error. The sets of walls jutting out from the side of the track look harmless enough in the video above, but I found myself being rammed between them much more than I'd like by the the AI, loosing precious acceleration in the process.

Being the first track in the cup and as such, the first one I managed to master, it was pretty much vital to grab first place here before proceeding in order to have any hope of winning

Kyoto (Pro)

The Pro-Am version was bad, but this is that on crack. As if the tricky area with the indoor wall wasn't difficult enough to squeeze through the first time, in fine Human Centipede fashion they grafted another identical area onto it, giving you twice the walls to weave around and exponentially more opportunities for the even more aggressive AI to ram you into them. If I came out of the starting grid anywhere in the top three, I could be guaranteed to be slammed into the first wall by the cavalcade of turds behind me, coming to a dead halt and spending the next half a lap in seventh or eight place if I was lucky and a distant eight place if I wasn't. Eventually I adopted a strategy of stopping outside the area and waiting for the AI horde to pass me by before going in. It might have left me in eight, but at least I wasn't so far behind the pack that I wouldn't make any progress for half a lap.

The sliding doors also returned from the Pro-Am track, this time in greater numbers. But after racing on the track a few times, I noticed something interesting that helped me negate a lot of the frustration they previously caused: I noticed that every time an AI racer passed through them, they immediately flung open for them. Rather than setting the disc on fire after learning the game was even more cheap than I had previously imagined, I used my new-found knowledge to piggy back on my adversaries through the freshly-opened doors as much as I could. Something I couldn't do if I got left behind after that first bloody indoor area.

New York (Pro)

16/06/12 - Time to take this one home. Feeling pretty good about the France and Tokyo Pro tracks now. Working on New York at the moment. - JiliK's Backloggery

As a returning area from the Rookie Cup, I was hoping that this track wouldn't be too bad and really it isn't. The trickiest section is by far the the one with the three gaps in quick succession. I had a lot of trouble here trying to nail down the timing of the jumps here. After a lot more trial and error, I managed to finally suss it out, even discovering that if if I ignored the final gap, my momentum at that point would take me across it. With the AI's penchant for leaving that bullshit confusion power-up (that only they have access to btw) right in the path of my jump, that was quite a helpful discovery.

Other than that section, the only problem with this track is its relatively short length. Without long laps to catch up after making a mistake, there really isn't much room for error here.

Himalayas (Pro)

22/06/12 - Still working on the Pro Cup. I'm pretty close to beating it now, if only I could avoid being constantly screwed over by the AI characters. - JiliK's Backloggery

And here it is, folks: the end of my winning run through the Pro Cup. A run I only discovered I wasn't recording a few seconds after this race started. Eleven and a half years after my only glimpse of this track on the back of box, I was finally hurtling towards victory on it.

For the last track in the game, this is an astonishingly straightforward one. With the Himalayan setting too, you could easily see them cramming all sorts of bullshit into this one from falling rocks to avalanches to narrow, twisty paths with falling rocks and avalanches collapsing onto them. That's what I was expecting anyway. In reality though, the obstacles here come in the form of trio of jumps more generously spaced out than in the previous track, and a cave area that may be narrow and may have some rocks to manoeuvre around around, but it's in no way as insane to get through as sections of the first two tracks in this cup.

The gaps early on do take a little practice to get around successfully, with rocks placed in some quite evil positions within their vicinity and a cliff on the left side of the track, but once you don't screw up there, it's not too hard to grab at least second on this track. Whether that gives you enough points to wrap things up is another matter of course. I'm not sure if it's noticeable, but I cut out a part here where I paused just before the finish line to try and figure out just that. Even though I'd had a blistering run through the previous tracks, and I was pretty convinced second place would be enough, I had to be sure; I was too close to finally beating this to screw up now.

26/06/12 - Done and dusted. In your face, Chuckie J!

Indeed, second place was more than enough; I had a whole extra point to spare! Having crossed that finish line, I'd finally laid the first entry in my backlog to rest. Almost a year after starting this campaign, having spent a solid week of playing this for hours, night after night after night, I couldn't have been more excited about that fact. Who ever thought an obscure racing game I picked up at random a decade ago would turn into such an ordeal? :D