Exploring the progenitors of Minecraft: Dungeon Keeper

    I think that almost everyone has heard of Minecraft. But perhaps not everyone saw one of the great games from which Notch took his ideas - I say Dungeon Keeper. I’m not going to retell Wikipedia about what the game is like, because, as it seems to me, it’s better to see once than to hear or read 100 times;). If the above video is of little interest to you, you can buy a game, ask your friends for a disc or try to find the image of Dungeon Keeper Gold on the Internet (the most complete version of the game). Since the game was released in 1997 under Windows and under DOS, there are 2 launch options: under Windows in compatibility mode with Windows 95 or DOSBox. In general, I would not recommend trying to run it natively under Windows, although there is, say, KeeperFX , which should fix some compatibility issues.

    Make sure your disc image contains music

    Interestingly, the original CD is the so-called Mixed Mode CD , in which the first track contains data (i.e. the game itself), and all the remaining tracks are musical accompaniment. If you try to make an ISO image from such a CD, you can either get only the first track, or several .iso files (the first link for “iso mixed mode cd” ). In any case, this format is not suitable for a disk image (if you want to play with music): mounting several .iso files as one logical partition will be very problematic. Therefore, for example, the disk image must be in the .cue format , which is devoid of the drawback described above and allows you to create images for the Mixed Mode CD.

    Mount .cue in DOSBox

    If you run Dungeon Keeper through DOSBox, and you have a .cue image, then I have good news for you: DOSBox supports mounting such files. To do this, type the following command after startup (or place it in the [autoexec] section in the configuration file):
    imgmount d /path/to/image/DKGOLD.cue -t cdrom

    Game setup

    After you installed the game, the executable files keeper.exe and deeper.exe should appear in the C: \ KEEPER folder (only if you installed the Deeper Dungeons add-on included in Dungeon Keeper Gold) - they both require an inserted disk D: \ in order to start the game. In principle, the usual Dungeon Keeper does not check the installation directory too carefully, so you can copy the missing files from the disk and specify in KEEPER.CFG the path to the installation as “C: \ KEEPER \”. But then you lose your musical background, and the music in the game is very good.

    If you put the game in DOSBox, then by default you will have low resolution mode enabled. There are 2 resolutions in the game - high (by default in the windows version) and low (dos version). You can switch between them by pressing Alt + R directly during the game. I also recommend that you spend some time setting up DOSBox so that it performs aspect-correction, since the game is designed for 640x400 mode, but with an aspect ratio of 4: 3 (most older CRT monitors support this mode). Otherwise, the game will not look as the authors suggested :).

    If you want to play Deeper Dungeons (and for some fragments of Dungeon Keeper this is relevant), you may notice that scrolling is tied to the processor frequency, and therefore it will simply not be possible to select some levels. This is where DOSBox comes to the rescue: you can reduce the speed of the game to the one you need during the level selection ( DOSBox keys ), and then set it back to the maximum so that the game runs more smoothly.

    Passage of the game in Russian

    Some time ago I already wanted to write a topic on the hub about this game, but at that moment I decided to accumulate some more information and useful material on this topic. But all the same, then I posted on Youtube a video clip that I was preparing for this article , and it has already gained about 2 thousand views. This made me think that perhaps this topic would still be interesting to other people. Therefore, I decided to do not just a review of the game, but its complete passage, and I have already published the passage of the first 16 of 20 usual levels and the passage of 1 bonus level, and for this bonus level I could not find the passage elsewhere (and not only on YouTube, but also in textual walkthroughs of the game, this level is marked as impossible to pass). The total duration of the video I posted is more than 9 hours, so you are unlikely to be able to complete the game in one evening;). If you include the passage of the remaining levels here, you can get about 15 hours of gameplay (at a fairly fast pace;)). If you consider that there are several more bonus levels and a whole addition of Deeper Dungeons, consisting of 20 additional (and very difficult) levels, then you can imagine how huge this game is.

    I really hope that if you like Minecraft, like me, then you will also really like Dungeon Keeper, since this game, IMHO, is simply masterpiece and still looks no worse than some modern games. But all this, of course, in his spare time from work.

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