Installing (with a workaround), patching, playing.
What does not
Installing directly from CD-- installer cannot see CD2 when placed in drive to replace CD1, making install impossible to complete. This can be worked around, however (see 'Extra Comments').
There is also a small redraw issue; several times during play, when the game changed camera angle, most of the screen became white, with only the area where Arkhan (the player-controlled character) stood being visible, as well as a few seemingly-random rectangles in the area. If one then walks Arkhan forward, he "draws in" the rendering, wiping out the white along his path, and after 3 or 4 steps the game "gets it" and draws the full area. It's mildly annoying but does not seem to pose a serious hindrance to play. This is a DirectX 3 (!!!) game, so it's not too shocking to see some issues crop up; just glad they're not worse.
What was not tested
EXE version of the 1.1 patch (the version I found was a *.zip file, which only required extraction to the game's install folder);The full game; I've only played the "tutorial" and through the first major event that initiates the game's "main quest".
The installer seemed to take possession of the drive, to the extent that even a file manager (Nautilus) did not see and mount CD 2 until the installer was closed. This despite 1) manually opening the DVD-ROM drive and inserting CD 2; 2) ejecting CD 1 via the terminal (using sudo), and explicitly mounting CD 2 in the terminal (again via sudo). WORKAROUND: 1) Use winecfg to add a 2nd "CD-ROM" drive to the WINEPREFIX under which you're installing Dark Earth, linking it to a self-created (via sudo) mount point in /media (or /mnt, if your distro uses that instead of /media, or even /home/username if you prefer, in which case you don't have to use sudo to create the mount point). I made several such mount points, so the one used was /media/dvdrom3, linked to drive E where drive D is my actual DVD-ROM drive; 2) make an ISO of CD 2 (I used Brasero, but this can be done easily via the terminal, or with any burning program that has the option to copy a disk) 3) mount (via sudo) the ISO of CD 2 to the mount point linked to the newly-made 2nd drive in the WINEPREFIX. The result was that when the installer asked for CD 2, I told it to look on drive E (the mounted ISO), instead of on drive D (where it had been reading CD 1), which it happily did, allowing the install to complete normally. Another annoyance occurs upon install completion; after you click OK on the dialog that appears when the install has finished, the full-screen InstallShield background does not go away. This seems to be because the dialog offering to register the game is *behind* this window. A bit annoying, true, but not even a Wine issue, insofar as I remember such an old version of InstallShield often behaving the same way under Windows 95 (for which this game was built). Fortunately, Alt-Tab works just fine, so I could get to the desktop, open a new instance of a terminal, and run top to see what the name of the process that needed to be killed was. When I killed _ins0432._mp, the "Do you want to register?" dialog was revealed, enabling me to say "Register Later". There is no "Never Register" button, unfortunately. Since this game is some 14 years old, and both the developer (Kallisto) and the publisher (Microprose) are both defunct, not only is there no use in registering, but it is probably quite impossible to do so. On the other hand, having to click "Register Later" once a week (I think the message recurs in 7 days) is, again, quite a minor inconvenience, all things considered. Once in the game, it runs quite well, without DLL overrides or a virtual desktop. No sound problems, no stuttering or slowdowns. No graphics issues except for the occasional whitescreen, but the graphics themselves are rendered completely without issue (for what they are, as 1997 graphics). It even runs fullscreen (on a 1920x1080 desktop) without a single complaint. The install may be Bronze, but once installed it runs like Gold.
|Operating system||Test date||Wine version||Installs?||Runs?||Used|
|Show||Debian GNU/Linux Unstable "Sid" x86_64||Sep 15 2016||1.9.18||Yes||Yes||Bronze||an anonymous user|
|Current||Linux Mint Debian||Jul 05 2011||1.3.23||No, but has workaround||Yes||Bronze||Holly Bostick|