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Installing mission from an old unofficial RA1 expansion


TaxOwlbear
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I got my hand on an old unofficial mission CD for Red Alert called Perfect Alert. The CD has 100 MP/skirmish maps which can be installed by copy-pasting them into the RA folder, but it also has five single-player missions. However, I can't even find the files for those missions, and I'm not sure how to install them. Being from 1997, the installers don't work on a modern OS.

 

Here is the content of the CD. I'm not as tech-savvy as some of the folks here, so any help is appreciated.

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I have a old version RA1 around but the Win .exe is WestWood V3.03. Not sure if I could even run DOS RA1 on XP. If the windows saves are pre ConterStrike I don't think they can be played at all unless some one has Win98/98 around as V1.04 worn't run on XP. I don't think pre ConterStrike saves work with ConterStrike (V1.07/V1.08)

 

Windows and DOS mission attached below.

 

EDIT: Looking in the RAFQA.txt in the STRATEGY folder and it says

"\par 10.1 OFFICIAL WESTWOOD PATCHES

\par

\par No patches are known to exist at this time. Westwood does plan to release a patch that enables savegames in multiplayer mode. "

 

This means the savedgame files are made using the V1.04 for Windows mission. I'm 90% sure ConterStrike broke all V1.04 saves.

Perfect_Alert_Single_missions.zip

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I don't think that project went anywhere, tbh. I remember they found some code in the exe related to writing an ini file from the currently playing mission, but I doubt it was complete or usable.

 

It'd be version-specific anyway, so even if they did those hacks, they'd have to be done all over again on the unpatched version.

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Now before I hunt down CDs of the original unpatched RA1 release*, is there a way to get the RA1 DOS version going with DOSBox? Or does it need to be modified?

 

 

*They seem to go for something like £3 without box and manual on Amazon, which is cheaper than I expected - provided those are actually original discs and not a later re-release.

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You don't need to go and grab the original CD's. I have CD images of them made from my own CD's right here:

 

http://tore29.com/isos/RA_Allies.zip

http://tore29.com/isos/RA_Soviet.zip

http://tore29.com/isos/RA_Counterstrike.zip

http://tore29.com/isos/RA_Aftermath.zip

 

The DOS version of RA works just fine in DOSBox. Every release of RA is a Win95 and DOS release. The DOS installer is in the SETUP folder, the Win95 version is in the SETUP95 folder on the disc.

 

 

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I don't think that project went anywhere, tbh. I remember they found some code in the exe related to writing an ini file from the currently playing mission, but I doubt it was complete or usable.

 

It'd be version-specific anyway, so even if they did those hacks, they'd have to be done all over again on the unpatched version.

 

True but maybe Iran can by pass the (Old) lock out and force the game to load the file anyway with the version he already hacked to make a .ini dump.

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Its not always a case of just forcing the game to load an older format, parts of the save games a just binary dumps of the in memory data structures the game uses. These tend to change between versions (especially between vanilla and cs to add the ant stuff and between cs and am for the new units), so one version can't always correctly load another versions saves.

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True but maybe Iran can by pass the (Old) lock out and force the game to load the file anyway with the version he already hacked to make a .ini dump.

I can "bypass that lockout" in two minutes. It's just changing the savegame version ID in the save file.

 

However, as Blade said, these version IDs exist for a reason; they get changed when portions of the game are changed substantially. Loading such savegames from different versions mostly just crashes the game, because the memory dumps in the samegame are no longer the same as the structure the game uses for these objects.

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One last request: I think the "CC" folder also contains missions in .exe files. Could someone extract those too. That'd be great. :)

They're zip self-extractors. Doesn't matter that they're 16 bit DOS apps; if you got winrar installed you can just right click them and select "extract". Heck, fairly sure you can just rename them to .zip and open them.

 

They also just seem to contain savegames though.

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Nyerguds: The function should exist in all of the older C&C games....it's probably what was used by the in-game map editor during development. It's located next to Read_Scenario().

 

So yes the savegames ought to be reversible into mission files...

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Iran: Oh, interesting. Never really looked into RA1, but I found the ini writing functions for different sections in C&C1 (easy to find from the referenced ini strings), and none of them were referenced there :(

 

How complete are such ini files? Do they include all triggers and teamtypes and such?

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