Archive for the ‘Games Linux’ Category

Play Dune2 on Debian Linux with dosbox – Dune 2 Mother of all Real Time Strategy games

Saturday, March 1st, 2014


Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty (known also as Dune II: Battle for Arrakis in Europe is a game that my generation will never forget. Dune 2 is the "first" computer Real Time Strategy (RTE) game of the genre of the Warcraft I and Warcraft II / III and later Command and Conquer – Red Aleart, Age of Empires I / II and Starcraft …


I've grown up with Dune2 and the little computer geek community in my school was absolutely crazy about playing it. Though not historically being the first Real Time Strategy game, this Lucas Inc. 
game give standards that for the whole RTE genre for years and will stay in history of Computer Games as one of best games of all times.

I've spend big part of my teenager years with my best friends playing Dune2 and the possibility nowadays to resurrect the memories of these young careless years is a blessing.  Younger computer enthusiasts and gamers probably never heard of Dune 2 and this is why I decided to place a little post here about this legendary game.

dune-2-tank-vehicle - one of best games computer games ever

Its worthy out of curiosity or for fun to play Dune 2 on modern OS be it Windows or Linux. Since Dune is DOS game, it is necessary to play it via DOS emulator i.e. – (DosBox). 
Here is how I run dune2 on my Debian Linux:

1. Install dosbox DOS emulator

apt-get install --yes dosbox

2. Download Dune2 game executable

You can download my mirror of dune2 here

Note that you will need unzip to uanrchive it, if you don't have it installed do so:

apt-get install --yes unzip

cd ~/Downloads/

3.  Unzip archive and create directory to mount it emulating 'C:\' drive

mkdir -p ~/.dos/Dune2
cd ~/.dos/Dune2

unzip ~/Downloads/

4. Start dosbox and create permanent config for C: drive auto mount


To make C:\ virtual drive automatically mounted you have to write a dosbox config from inside dbox console

config -writeconf /home/hipo/.dosbox.conf

My home dir is in /home/hipo, change this with your username /home/username

Then exit dosbox console with 'exit' command

To make dune2 game automatically mapped on Virtual C: drive:

echo "mount c /home/hipo/.dos" >> ~/.dosbox.conf

Further to make dosbox start each time with ~/.dosbox.conf add alias to your ~/.bashrc 

vim ~/.bashrc
echo "alias dosbox='dosbox -conf /home/hipo/.dosbox.conf'" >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

Then to run DUNE2 launch dosbox:


and inside console type:

cd Dune2


For the lazy ones who would like to test dune you can play dune 2 online on this website

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SL Animated console train for your Linux – useless commans to cheer you up when you mistype ls

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014


Some time ago I blogged about how to make your sysadmin more enjoyable with figlet and toilet console ASCII art text generators
Besides toilet and figlet another cool entertainment proggie is cowsay. On my home Linux router I use cowsay together with a tiny shell script to generate me a random Cow Ascii Art fun picture each time I login to my Linux. cowrand is set to run for my user through ~/.bashrc.

cowsay print cheerful pictures on your linux console / terminal login how to

In the spirit of ascii art fun arts today I've stumbled on another cool  and uselesss few kilobytes program called "SL". SL is very simple all it does is it cheers up you by displaying a an animated train going through the screen once you type by mistake "sl" instead of ls (list command).
To enjoy it on debian based distributions install it with apt:

# apt-get install --yes sl

SL 's name is a playful joke itself as well it stands for Steam Locomotive.

To get some more ASCII art fun, try telnetting to – There is a synthesised ASCII Art text version video of Star Wars – Episode IV

# telnet

watch all star_wars episode 1 in ascii art video

If you know other cool ASCII art animation scripts / ASCII art games or anything related to ASCII art for Linux / Windows, please drop me a comment.

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Torus Trooper – Cool 3D Tunnel Speed Up Spaceship game for Linux

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Torus Trooper linux tunnel 3d fast pace speed up game screenshot

Whether you're looking for a game to kill some time and enjoy the old "spaceship shoot and run games" check out Torus Trooper.
Originally game was developed for MS Windows and is remake of an old Atari Arcade Game Tempest.

Those who played Tempest know well that this game was revolution for its time and probably remember also a similar world famous Space Duel game.

Arcade atari old scool tunnel game tempest one of atari pre 3d game classics

Atari's Tempest Arcade game

The objective of Torus Trooper is mega simple as in most arcade games. You're speeding up through a tunnel all time with a spaceship with the only goal to kill as many enemies  as you can and survive as longer as possible. Playing the game you can get some memories of demoscene tracked music, future crew Second Reality / Unreal demos. Game was created by ABA GAMES company, authors Tumiki Fighters and GunRoar another 2 nice 2D Linux arcade games.

TUMIKI Fighters the boss level 1, 2d linux arcade game classic

Tumiki Fighters

Gunroar another cool linux arcade 2d game


Probably best thing of Torus Trooper is its nice graphics and superb demoscene like soundtrack.
I truely love the pace of the game, raising up the player adrenaline in minutes.
To install in a bundle Torus-Trooper Tumiki Fighters and Gunroar on Debian / Ubuntu Linux run the usual:

debian:~# apt-get install --yes torus-trooper tumiki-fighters gunroar

There is also a variation of torus-trooper called Torus Trooper, install and give it a try as well;

debian:~# apt-get install -yes torus-trooper-pure

In my humble opinion Torus-trooper is among golden games every Linux gamer should have installed on his Desktop.
Enjoy 🙂

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Install xmame from source on Debian Linux 7.0 (Wheezy) to play for better MAME (Arcade Games Emulation)

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

xmame logo install xmame on latest stable debian

Whether you're keen on playing old school arcade games. And you just updated or installed latest stable Debian 7 Wheezy. You will find out current installable Mame (Arcade Emulator) package cannot play many of the hot Games, even though game rom files are okay and you might have played those games in some previous versions of Debian with now obsolete but apparently better working emu  xmame.

As playing Captain Command, Xain'D Sleena, Cadillac & Dinosaurs and Punisher Classic Arcades is one of my great entertainments when I have some free time. I took the time to find out if xmame is still installable either by deb package or from source.

Unfortunately xmame for latest Debian releases is not available from unofficial repositories, so I proceeded with installing it from source. Thanksfully source install was successful. Hence, below is explained how to install xmame from source on Debian Wheezy and Debian testing/unstable.
First before compiling install a bunch of development packages necessary for proper compilation:

# apt-get install --yes zlib1g-dev
# apt-get install --yes libexpat1-dev
# apt-get install --yes libghc-x11-dev
# apt-get install --yes x11proto-video-dev
# apt-get install --yes libxv-dev

Download xmame 0.103 source archive (xmame-0.103.tar.bz2)

Tar archive doesn't have configure script so to compile it just run make ;

# cd /usr/local/src
# tar -jxvvf xmame-0.103.tar.bz2
# su hipo
cd xmame-0.103
$ make
$ exit
# make install

In case some header .h file is still missing and compile fails, as it happened to me on few occasions. You can install and use apt-file;

One important note is xmame's build will take very long on my machine with 2Gb of Memory and Dual Core 1.8 Ghz it took about 1,.30 or 2 hours. 

# apt-get –yes install apt-file
# apt-file update

To find from which package the the missing .h file can be installed

# apt-file search Header-Name.h

Then just install package which will provide needed header.

Next step is to create xmame config file:
# mkdir /usr/local/share/xmame/
xmame-0.103$ cp -rpf ./src/unix/doc/xmamerc.dist /usr/local/share/xmame/xmamerc

In xmamerc set proper location for Mame ROM files:

# vim /usr/local/share/xmame/xmamerc
Find line;

rompath                 /usr/local/share/xmame/roms

and change it to whether Rom files are located. In my case they're in /disk/Games/Mames/roms, so change rompath to;

rompath                 /disk/Games/Mames/roms

There are some other configurations which you might want to tune. A well configured xmamerc that works fine for me is here

Finally link xmame.x11 to /usr/bin/xmame

# ln -sf /usr/local/bin/xmame.x11 /usr/bin/xmame

After having properly configured XMamE'S roms Directory to launch a game, for example or

$ xmame punisher
 $ xmame captcom

captain_commando_arcade-game-logo running on xmame Linux

I've build xmame from source on Debian but I suppose same guide should be working okay on Ubuntu, Mint and rest of Debian distributions. I'll be happy to get feedback if someone succeeded running xmame on other distro. If you do please drop me a comment with distro name and specifics or problems faced.

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Playing Mame Arcade old school games on Debian Wheezy 7.0 Linux

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Play arcade games on Debian GNU Linux 7 Wheezy Tux arcade logo

To play the good old arcade on Debian Linux in previous releases I used GNOME's xmame frontend gxmame in Debian 5.0 Lenny and in Debian 6.0 gxmame was no longer working fine so I was using a KDE package frontend called kamefu.

Yesterday I just re-installed my laptop with latest stable Debian 7 Wheezy and after installing re-installing all packages I regularly use it happened gxmame and kamefu are no longer available in Debian 7. It was kinda of shocking since I already so much get accustomed to kamefu that I don't want to switch to other Mame GNOME GUI frontend.

I tried building kamefu from source (btw kamefu is still in very early development stage 0.1 with no luck). After the epic fail and my laziness to look for what kind of header files part of KDE I have to install. I read what is written on Mame in Debian Wiki here and found out about existence of new package in Debian 7 – gnome-video-arcade, as well understand the so far well knon xmame package is substituted by one called mame. Though name changed mame is not much different from xmame. In theory mame pack should be complete substitute for xmame but in practice my experiments showed xmame was running much more ROM files than the new mame binary.

Here is what I did to have running most of my Mame ROm files on Debian 7 Linux;

1. Install mame gnome-video-arcade, mame-tools and xmame-tools debs

noah:~$ apt-get --yes install mame mame-tools xmame-tools

2. Create default config file for mame bin
noah:~$ cd .mame
noah:~/.mame$ mame -cc

mame -cc command generates mame.ini config file;

noah:~/mame$ ls -al mame.ini
-rw-r--r-- 1 hipo hipo 6660 май 25 18:31 mame.ini

3.Add location to Mame Rom files in config file

noah:~/mame$ vim mame.ini

Near beginning of file there is section:


rompath                   $HOME/mame/roms;/usr/local/share/games/mame/roms;/usr/share/games/mame/roms;

At the end of rompath include location of MAME ROMs in my case ROMS are located in;

rompath                   $HOME/mame/roms;/usr/local/share/games/mame/roms;/usr/share/games/mame/roms;/disk/Games/Mames/roms;

Further on to test which ROMS will work and which not compatible;

noah:~/mame$ mame -verifyroms |grep -i good
1941j       : yi22b.1a (279 bytes) - NOT FOUND - NO GOOD DUMP KNOWN
romset 1942a [1942] is good
1943        : bm.7k (65536 bytes) - NOT FOUND - NO GOOD DUMP KNOWN
1943kai     : bm.7k (65536 bytes) - NOT FOUND - NO GOOD DUMP KNOWN
1943u       : bm.7k (65536 bytes) - NOT FOUND - NO GOOD DUMP KNOWN
romset 1944 is good
romset 1944j [1944] is good
romset 280zzzap is good
romset 3kokushi is good
romset 3stooges is good
romset 4dwarrio is good


4. Launch gnome-video-arcade binary

noah:~/.mame$ gnome-video-arcade

On first run, you will have to wait a about 10 minutes for program to Index all Rom files it loads up the CPU severely and looks like the program is hanged …

GNOME video arcade debian Linux play arcade games GUI program screenshot

As you can see the interface is very simplistic, there is Preferences (menu) but there is almost nothing to configure;

GNOME Video arcade Debian Linux preferences general

Gnome video arcade games on debian linux preferences columns One very unpleasent thing is many of the best games didn't work anymore. Some great arcade games like Punisher, Captain Command, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs who worked perfectly fine on old xmame + kamefu, don't work anymore with mame + gnome-video-arcade.

Besides its simplicty gnome-video-arcade has the precious feature to Record Played Games. To record yourself playing and later replay it use menus;

Game -> Record

or use shortcut (CTRL+R)

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BB – A must see ASCII Art Audio / Video portable demo for Linux, FreeBSD, UNIX and DOS

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

bb Audio Visual ASCII art Linux FreeBSD demonstration old school demo logo

I know and I have enjoyed BB – Portable Demo for already a decade.
I'm sure many newbies to the Free And Open Source (FOSS) realm don't know or heard of bb's existence as nowdays ASCII art is not so well known among youngsters. Hence this short post aims to raise some awareness of the existence of this already OLD but GOLD – awesome! text console / terminal demonstation BB 🙂

bb is pretty much in the spirit of Oldschool Assembly DOS demo scene dominating the geeks dome in the late 80's and yearly 90's.

Historically bb used to be one of the main stunning things one could show to a fellow GNU / Linux new comer.

For the year 2000, seeing all this awesome ASCII video demo running on free Operating System like GNU / Linux was a big think.
The fact that such an advanced ASCII art was distributed freely for an OS which used to exist since only (6 / 7 years) was really outstanding of its time.

BB text ascii art Linux demo entry screen characters matrix

I still remember how much I was amazed seeing a plain ascii video stream was possible only Linux. Moreover the minimal requirements of bb were quite low for its time – it worked on mostly all PCs one can find at the time.

BB's minimum requirements to work with no chops is just an old 486/66 DX2 CPU Mhz with few megas of memory (32MB of memory was more than enough to run it)

BB text sacii art Linux demo entry screen char matrix

A very unique feature of bb was it was the first Linux demo that succesfully run simultaneously playing on two monitor screens as one can read on the project website.
Unfortunately I didn't owned two monitors back in the day so never ever had the opportunity to see it running on two screens.
Anyhow I've seen it runnign somewhere on some of the Linux install fests visited some years ago…

The demo was developed by 4 man group ppl – the AA group the same digital artists are also the guys behind the AA Project.

AA Lib mascot logo :)

The main aim of AA-lib was to make possible (Doom, Second Reality, X windows) to run rendered in plain ASCII art text.

The project succeeded in a lot of his goals already as there is already existent such an ascii art ports of large games like QUAKE! Be sure to check this awesome project too AAquake ascii quake page is here
, as well as video and pictures could be viewed under a plain console Linux tty or in terminal (via SSH 🙂 )

Thanks to AA-Lib even text mode doom exists.

bb as well as aa-lib has ports for most modern Linux distros in that number one can easily get rpm or deb packages for most of distros.
On Slackware Linux you should compile it from source. Though compilation should be a straightfoward process, not that i tried it myself but I remember a close friend of mine (a great Slackware devotee) who was the one to show me the demo for a first time on his Slackware box.

1. Installing bb on Debian Linux

Debian Linux users like me are privileged as for already many years a Debian package of bb is maintaned thanks to Uwe Herman

Hence for anyone willing to enjoy bb install it by running:

debian:~# apt-get --yes install bb
ho@debian:~$ bb

If you're running a X server the aa-lib will immediately run with its X server compiled support:

Running BB Music Screesnhot

2. Installing BB demo on FreeBSD

On FreeBSD, bb demo has a port to install it run:

freebsd# cd /usr/ports/misc/bb freebsd# make install clean ...

Here is good time to say that even though in most of the machines, I've tested the demo I had on some of the hosts problems with sound due to buggy sound drivers.
As of time of writting hopefully on most machines there will be no troubles as most of the Linux sb drivers are better supported by ALSA.

Everyone interested in both Free Software and ASCII art knows well how big in significance is the AA-lib project for the historical development and attraction for new hackers to the Linux dome.
In that sense AAlib head developer Jan HubickaBy the way Jan Hubicka is also the author of another Linux tool called xaos. Xaos is a tool to deal with some kind of advanced higher mathematics stuff called fractals.

XAOS Screenshot Debian Squeeze Linux

Unfortunately I don't know a bit for fractal maths and what the purpose of the tool is but as you can see on the shot it looks nice running 🙂

Here are also, lot of the major BB parts in shots:

Running bb music screen screenshot Linux Debian 6 Squeeze

BB AScii fire Linux shot

bb demo ascii art fractals

BB demo ascii art back head and description of the dev

bb demo ascii zebra Linux screenshot

bb demo cannon gun shot

BB demo ring screenshot

BB demo spots Debian shot

BB developer head shot 2

BB developer profile shot

bb game ascii invaders demo

Linux extremist BB demo

BB demo zoomed text ascii art text

BB Demo thanks for watching screen

For those on MS-Windows OS platform, here is the demo 🙂

BB ASCII Demo standard size running in Linux (With sound)

Enjoy ! 🙂

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Play Terminal Velocity (Terminal Reality) 3D shooter DOS game on Debian Squeeze GNU / Linux

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Terminal Velocity Game title logo dosbox Debian Linux

Some of the computer DOS geeks certainly should remember Terminal Velocity / (Terminal Reality Inc. – TRI) DOS 3D Realms (ex Apogee company) game. For those who are younger or for any reason miss to play TV here is a short review. Terminal Velocity is an addictive fast pace 3D Flight Simulator game.
The ship one navigates has a mean to accelerate or down-accelerate flying speed. There is also an AFTER BURNER mode which accelerates the ship movement speed drastically while in use. TRI's AFTER BURNER game feature create unique feeling whilst in game, raising gamers adrenaline and giving feeling of great dynamics 😉
The game graphics are a bit low, the game can be switched between VGA and SVGA from within the internal game menus, anyways for the year 1995 the game graphics looks fine.

Terminal Velocity TV DOS game screenshot

TV supports network games of up to 8 Network Players and for 1995 is among the few 3D games supporting so high number of network players simultaneously. As most of the games of its time TRI supports modem network game play. I don't know about you, but for me Modem Network game DooM peered plays brings up some nice memories 🙂

Every now and then in the levels, there are holes (Tunnels) you can enter, the tunnels is one of the most exciting part of the game as it reminds me tracking mods music culture, Future Crew's Second Reality graphics demo and the rest of the old glorious Assembly Demos – if not familiar with the aforementioned be sure to check the link cause you've missed a lot!

The ability to enter Tunnels while in the midst of the game makes TV unique and sets it apart from the rest of the games which were bombarding the 3D game flight simulator market in '95s.
Terminal Velocity DOS Level Tunnels screenshot

486 with 8 megs of memory.
For SVGA graphics (provided only by registered game version) require 486 DX4/100 or Pentium to display at acceptable frame rate.

Terminal Veolocity on Disk technical support manual

This requirements are nothing and even looks funny while compared to today's available hardware. Nowdays an Android ver. 2.2 OS running (PriVileg) mobile "smart" phone runs at at least 400 Mhz CPU and has a giga of memory.
Its quite interesting to see (from historic point of view) how thoroughful the TV Help manual is, and how well organized software documentation used to be in these old DOS days. If you want to take a look at it launch TVHELP.EXE (you will notice it along with other game .EXE files after extracting)

The game soundtrack is amazingly cool and is one of the main things that add to the great gaming experience.

It took me a while to find Terminal Velocity, as the game download link provided on is broken and most of the websites with mirror of file was no longer active.

After about half an hour of search!, I've finally found and managed to download
In order to preserve Terminal Violocity game from disappearing I've made a mirror of you can download from here

Thanks to dosbox DOS Emulator , is playable on both GNU / Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS and Windows.
I did not have the time to check if the game runs fine on other operating system architectures besides mine – a Debian GNU / Linux codename (Squeeze). On my aptop Thinkpad R61 with hardware configuration (Dual core x 1.8 Ghz with 2 GB of Memory), the game runs smoothly with both good playable graphics frame rate and properly timed sound/music.

For all those who want to play the game in the Linux realm, you will have to have earlier installed dosbox dos emulator. Once dosbox is there you can further proceed download / unzip / run and enjoy Terminal Velocity on your Linux Desktop:

1. Download and unzip

hipo@linux:~$ mkdir TV
hipo@linux:~$ cd TV
hipo@linux:~/TV$ wget
hipo@linux:~/TV$ unzip
� � ������ � � ����� ������ � ������ �����
� � � � � � � � � � �
�� �� �� �� ����� �� �� � �� �� � �� �
�� �� �� � �� � �� �� � �� �� � ��
������ �� ������ �� � �� �� � �� �� � �����

Running VADV 2.10 ���� ���� ������
� � � � � VirtualNet 1801001
4 Telnet nodes ����� ����� ������ FidoNet 1:311/2
VADV-PHP Website �� � �� � �� BattleNet 169:1/120
����� ����� �����


Full access on the first call. Simple, short and to the point newuser
questionaire. Over 50 door games online, all of them are registered.

Fun RPG games like LORD, Usurper, TEOS, Trade Wars, Clans, and Quest for Nora.

Strategic war games like BRE, FE, Global Wars, ISA, and Colonies.

Adult door games like Strip Poker, Bordello, Studs and Studette.

After unzip is complete you will have the following list of files and directories:

hipo@linux:~/TV$ ls -1

As you can read in the unzip notice the .zip file was taken from Telnet/web:
I was happy to find out that BBS is still up and running in both web and telnet mode! I took the time to telnet to and it was charming. is a real place of "living computer history"! For people who have never experienced the days of BBS use, I warmly recommend you do telnet and check it out. Issue in console/terminal:

hipo@linux:~/TV$ telnet
��VADV32 v4.4.110325 - (c) 2004-2011 Aspect Technologies -
o NetFoss - Revision 5 FOSSIL - Com Eng v1.03 - (c) 2001-2010
Connected @ 11520 to Lightning BBS on line 3

Virtual Advanced 2.10 for DOS
Multi-User Multi-Network Graphical Bulletin Board System
Serial #99608791

2. Run and enjoy Terminal Velocity 😉

The game itself is extracted automatically in TV sub directory. To launch it directly enter TV/ and run GAME.EXE , e.g.

hipo@linux:~/TV$ cd TV/
hipo@linux:~/TV/TV$ dosbox GAME.EXE

Terminal Velocity Screenshot Debian GNU / Linux 6.0 Squeeze Dosbox dos emulator

Terminal Velocity game screenshot dosbox GNU / Linux

Running the game through the game launcher TV.EXE or GAME.EXE worked but the game sound was missing music and sound FX 😐
The no-music and sound issues were however pretty normal and expected. Back in the DOS era setting your exact Sound Card device type was required before the first game launch.
Configuring the exact screen resolution (EGA / VGA / SVGA) and Sound Blaster or PC Speaker type (Sound Blaster 16 / Sound Blaster Pro) in TV is done through running SETUP.EXE .
3D Realms Terminal Velocity Screenshot Level 5 Debian Linux Squeeze dosbox

Actually SETUP.EXE used to be like a standard for almost all DOS games I've encountered.

To make Terminal Velocity sound work I had to choose from SETUP.EXE main menu:
Sound Setup -> Sound Blaster 16
Sound Setup -> Sound Blaster Pro

Choosing any of the two SBs produces the same sound / music effects. I guess this is the case becase dosbox emulates a number of sound cards compatible with soudn blaster.
After choosing the SB you should select Save and Launch TV to run the game with sound.
Terminal Velocity TV, dosbox setup.exe sound blaster setup program screenshot

If you quit the game and try to relaunch it with dosbox GAME.EXE unfortunately runs the game without sound fx and music again. Hence the only way to make TRI run properly with music is to everytime configure sound blaster type with SETUP.EXE . TV also supports joystick and it was nice my Genius JoyPad worked like a charm with TV under dosbox emu 😉
To play the game in full screen mode with dosbox press ALT + ENTER simultaneously. 

An interesting fact which is not related to the game is Terminal Velocity is a physics term, here is a quite from Wikipedia:

"In fluid dynamics an object is moving at its terminal velocity if its speed is constant due to the restraining force exerted by the fluid through which it is moving."

On, I've found also a collection of Terminal velocity mod For the sake of preservation from disappearance I've made a mirror of on here

TV has also 20 cheat code words which can be typed in while playing the game for various goodies like Invisinbility, Shield Restore, Power up all weapons, skip level etc. Complete list of Terminal Velocity cheat codes is here
If you're an absolute TV addict and you want to set a TV screenshot on background Check the TV Planet 1024×768 Background resolution

TV has also a game editor, could be valuable if you want to make yourself some custom game levels here is a mirror you can download
I've made also a quick research if someone in the Open Source / Free Software realm is not busy working on a fork of TV, but as of time of writting it seems there is no effort to make an "open source" Terminal Veolocity game. As TV is starting to disappear from the scene and 3DRealms are not existing for so many years now, it would be nice/wise if the company publish some of their prior games source. If they don't, so many great games (like TV)'s source code will be probably lost in max 10 / 15 years time.

We know 3DRealms release some of their source code for Duke Nukem 3D, I think it is now time to release source of TRI and the other old forgotten games.

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KRaptor a Raptor free software (open source) arcade game clone for GNU / Linux

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Kraptor is another Raptor Shadow of Death free software, open source clone arcade game for GNU/Linux, DOS and Windows (98, XP etc.).

KRaptor main menu game screenshot Linux Debian Squeeze

The game is not under active development anymore since 2004. Kraptor features a powerful engine for creating quickly 2D shooter games, so the game should be a good learning curve for people interested into creation of arcade game shooter games.

The game just like Rafkill is built upon DUMB sound engine.
The game intro is quite entertaining 😉 The intro plays one by one the text:

Near Future:
Money and Power. Slaves of the New Millenium!

KRaptor Bill gates like looking oppressor

After years of oppression, the slaved people of the world have raised against their masters. You, has a mercenary pilot, has been
contacted by the popular rebellion to fight against the forces of oppression.

In the morning, you jump into your cockpit and start up the engines. It's time to get airborne and start the attack. Get ready to
scramble the scum hired by the masters. Murder for freedom is the only way, you're on a mission, don't defraud us...

Like Rafkill, Kraptor is one man masterpiece created by a free software Argentinean geek known under the Kronoman artistic pseudonim. The game is really incredible for a one man work … a true masterpiece.
The game is licensed under MIT License.

Even though Kraptor is older game than Rafkill, the design is more resembling the original Raptor game. The game music is high quality stereo. Besides that music and fx sound effects are quite awesome. After each level you have a Raptor like weapons "blackmarket", where you can buy new weapons, recharge ship energy, upgrade ship etc.
The blackmarket implementation part of the game is probably the worst moment in the game along with the game menus (in my view).
Talking about graphics Kraptor supports really high number of resolutions ranging from 320×240 to 1280×1024! 640×480 is the standard resolution in which the game is running.

Kraptor raptor like Linux game plasma gun debian screenshot

Something I really like in the game is the number of multiple weapons your ship uses during play. Even if played in Easy mode it is taught.

There are game Saves after each level, so thanksfully you don't have to start again from zero once death.
At the end of each level there is a huge bad BOSS you have to destroy ;).
Kraptor the boss Debian GNU / linux

Installing Kraptor on Debian / Ubuntu and deb derivatives is with:

debian:~# apt-get install kraptor

On most rpm based Linux distributions, you can install the game by converting the deb package to rpm with alien or by building from source from Kraptor's sourceforge page

Its interesting the game name e.g. Kraptor is also a death / grind metal band name, (Maybe Kronoman is metalhead big fan of Kraptor and that's how he came up with the playful name. For all the old school game addicts there is the joystick support. I've tested it with my Genius analogous joystick and it works fine.

The game is lacking .desktop gnome definition and after once installed it only appears through Debian (section) GNOME menus and not in Applications -> Games :

Applications -> Debian -> Games -&act; Action -&t; Kraptor

Just like Rafkill on Debian the game exacutable binary is located in /usr/games/kraptor . Also like with the Rafkill case when launched the game has troubles with choppy sound and music caused by the stupid buggy! pulseaudio

Analogously like with Rafkill's case, the work around to the problematic music en sound is to use a little bash shell script like:

pulseaudio -k;
pulseaudio --start;

You can dowload Kraptor fix sound issues wrapper here

To install it on your Debian / Ubuntu and hence make the game sound play good issue with root:

debian:~# cd /usr/bin
debian:/usr/bin# wget
debian:/usr/bin:# chmod +x
debian:/usr/bin:# mv kraptor


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RafKill Raptor Free Software (Open Source) clone for GNU/Linux

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

I've earlier blogged on playing Apogee's Raptor Shadows of Death arcade on GNU / Linux with dosbox

All the old school raptor addicts will be interested to hear Kazzmir (Jon Rafkind) a free software devotee developer has created a small game resembling many aspects of the original Raptor arcade game.
The game is called Rafkill and is aimed to be a sort of Raptor like fork/clone.
Originally the game was also named Raptor like the DOS game, however in year 2006 it was changed to current Rafkill in order to avoid legal issues with Apogee's Raptor.

The game is not anymore in active development, the latest Rafkill release is from January 2007, anyhow even for the 2012 it is pretty entertaining. The sound and music are on a good level for a Linux / BSD shoot'em'up free software game . The graphics are not of a top quality and are too childish, but this is normal, since the game is just one man masterpiece.

Rafkill Level 1 Debian GNU/Linux

Rafkill is developed in C/C++ programming language, the game music engine it uses is called DUMB (Dynamic Universal Bibliotheque). By the way DUMB library is used for music engine in many Linux arcade games. DUMB allows the Linux game developer to develop his game and play a music files within different game levels in "tracked" formats like mod, s3m, xm etc.

The game is available in compiled form for almost all existent GNU/Linux distributions, as well as one can easily port it as it is open source.

To install Rafkill on Debian, Ubuntu, Xubuntu and Linux Mint en other Debian based distros

root@debian:~# apt-get install rafkill

Installing on Fedora and other rpm based is with yum

debian:~# apt-get install rafkill

Once rafkill is installed, in order to start it on Debian the only way is using the rafkill (/usr/bin/rafkill) command. It appears the deb package maintainer did not wrote a gnome launcher file like for example /usr/share/applications/rafkill.desktop
Just to explain for all the GNOME noobs, the .desktop files are a description file GNOME reads in order to understand where exactly to place certain application in the (Gnome Applications, Places, System …) menu panel.

Even though it miss the .desktop, it is launchable via Applications menu under the Debian section e.g. to open it from the GNOME menus you will have to navigate to:

Applications -> Debian -> Games -> Action -> Rafkill

This "shortcut" to launch the game is quite long and hard to remember thus it is handy to directly launch it via xterm:

hipo@debian:~$ rafkill

Rafkill raptor like native Linux game main menu screenshot Debian GNU / Linux Squeeze

or by pressing ALT+F2 and typing rafkill :

Rafkill Linux game gnome launcher screenshot

Rafkill Debian Linux Level 5 power weaponscreenshot

Starting the game I got some really ugly choppy music / sound issues.
My guess was the fizzling sounds were caused by some bug with the sound portions streamed through pulseaudio sound system.
To test if my presume is correct, stopped pulseaudio and launched rafkill once again:

hipo@debian:~$ pulseaudio -k
hipo@debian:~$ rafkill

This way the game was counting on ALSA to process sound en the sound was playing perfectly fine.

I solved this problem through small wrapper shell script. The script did kill pulseaudio before launching rafkill and that way solve gchoppy sound issues, once the game execution is over the script starts pulseaudio again in order to prevent all other applications working with pulseaudio.

Finally, I've placed the executable script in /usr/bin/rafkill :

Here is the script:

pulseaudio --kill
pulseaudio --start

You can download here
Or write in root terminal:

debian:~# cd /usr/bin
debian:/usr/bin:# wget
debian:/usr/bin:# mv rafkill
debian:/usr/bin:# chmod +x rafkill

Interesting in Ubuntu Linux, rafkill music is okay and I suppose the bug is also solved in newer Linux distributions based on Ubuntu. Probably the Debian Squeeze pulseaudio (0.9.21-4) package version has a bug or smth..

After the change the game music will be playing fine and the game experience is cooler. The game is hard to play. Its really nice the game has game Saves, so once you die you don't have to start from level 1.

Rafkill Load menu screenshot

  I've seen rafkill rolling around on ftps under the ubuntu packages pool, which means rafkill could probably be played easily on FreeBSD and other BSDs.

Enjoy the cool game 😉

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Download and Play Apogee’s Raptor (Call of the Shadows) DOS arcade game on GNU / Linux and BSD* with dosbox / Few words on Apogee and Shareware

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Since its early days dosbox has elolved a lot. For all those who haven't heard of dosbox, it is x86 Free Software Linux / FreeBSD DOS emulator

DosBox supports, almost all the game classics we used top lay in oldschool times when DOS (Disk Operating System ) version was running on top of most personal computer.

The most spread versions of DOS people used to use on their PCs were Novell (DR-DOS) more rarely used, and MS-DOS (The Microsoft DOS ver.).

I'm sometimes being sentimental about the past so I remembered for Raptor Call of the Shadows !

Having a bit of experience with DOSBox to run few DOS games I've decided to give a try with dosbox.

First I have to dig for this shareware, since this game is part of the sharewares, nowdays a binary version of it is freely distributed on the net.
Finding the game however took me about 10 minutes, as most of the download links for Raptor, were either dead or required some kind of registration. After a bit of look I found it on an old torrent with few seeders and succeded downloading.

For the convenience of people who would like to download run the Raptor arcade classic game check here

Nicely Raptor works out of the box directly launched with dosbox emulator.
Dosbox has packages for most Linux distributions.
I personally used it on my Debian Linux so installed via apt:

debian:~# apt-get install dosbox

The game works without any dosbox hacks, just download, unarchive and launch with dosbox:

hipo@debian:~$ wget
hipo@debian:~$ tar -zxvf Raptor_Call_of_The_Shadows_Apogee_arcade.tar.gz
hipo@debian:~$ cd Raptor/
hipo@debian:/home/hipo/Raptor$ dosbox rap.exe

Apogee Raptor Screenshot Dosbox Debian linux

Raptor Call of the Shadows main screen linux debian

Dosbox raptor level

People like me 😉 who lived in that glorious times when DOS was a standard for a desktop operating system pretty much like MS Windows is today, certainly remember the awesome games produced by Apogee Software a company later known as 3D Realms

Apogee until this very day remain one of the greatest game creation companies in history of games. 3D Realms played a crucial role in development of PC game industry as well as has a great santimental value to probably million of old school arcade game addicts.

They can be ben undoubtedly can be praised for having created some of the most awesome arcade games for all times.

Some of the early hit games they created you probably know, few of the titles are:

  • Duke Nukem I, II
  • Arctic Adventure
  • Monster Bash
  • Stargunner
  • Commander Keen series
  • Wolfenstein 3D
  • Blake Stone
  • Terminal Velocity (Terminal Reality)
  • Shadow Warrior
  • Death Rally
  • Blood

Apogee was also notable for being a company to had established the so spread mostly during the late 80s up to the early years of the second millenium.

ShareWare model of distribution is an interesting phenomenon, that co-relates more or less with the ideas of Free Software.
The idea of ShareWare games was games are distributed for Free and the end customer (gamer) is asked to pay for a game only if he likes it.

Some of the shareware published games was available for free download and play, however the game was only bundled with only a number of game levels to unlock the rest of the game levels you had to play some money.

The shareware games produced were then freely published and shared via dial up access BBS nodes (A text based Bulletin Board System similar to nowdays Forums).
BBS has historically been the major way of sharing knowledge and exchanging ideas and opinions preceding the massive rise of the WEB.
Today most computer users would probably even haven't heard about BBS, if you like to have a general idea on how BBSes seemed to look .

ShareWare started to loose speed with the decline of BBS and the emergence of Free Software.

Some of the conceptual ideas of ShareWare found its way in "Open Source & Free Software", and commercial companies like RedHat and SuSE.

If you have tried some other Apogee games with Dosbox on Linux and FreeBSD and you can positively confirm they work it will be great. In theory all of the DOS games of apogee should work fine with dosbox. Any feedback or game recommendations of your favourite games of the DOS years are mostly welcome in comments. I'm curious to hear what was your favourite DOS game. Maybe when I have time I'll prepare a list of my favourite games put them here 😉

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