Z95 for Windows XP without emulation

Post any issues here having to do with playing, installating or configuration of the game.

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jezus_gristus
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Z95 for Windows XP without emulation

Postby jezus_gristus » 2007-01-20, 02:55

Good morning fellow Z players :D

Just like the most of you, I've played Z a lot in the old day's. I was rather disappointed to find out Z isn't quite working on a modern desktop PC. Emulation via VMWare wasn't really cool because the sound stuttered and it's a lot of hassle. Z for DOS isn't Z95 of course and the version I found on the net lacks the movies :(

After a lot of searching (including ZZone) I had to conclude there was no other solution but to try to get the game running myself. Well, the last few day's I've been digging deep in the Windows API, messing around with Assemblers and debuggers and doing some C++. I'm proud to present you the result:

Z95forXP!
It basically is an installation package which contains a game loader, a kernel32.dll substitute and a file copy program. I've been able to fully automate the installation of Z95 under Windows XP and to get it running without whining about a the CD not being found (you do need the CD to play though, it's not a no-cd crack) and whining about 'Instructions not being allowed'.

I'll be documenting my findings of the last few day's for the people who're interested in Z95 in particular, of just game debugging, assembler, c++, memory hacking and windows api related stuff.

I've tested the installer on a few systems and it seems to be working fine, but I have no way of telling whether it'll work on any system.

Feel free to download z95forXP here:
http://www.vereyon.nl/files/z95forXP_by ... NL_1.1.msi

Older versions:
http://www.vereyon.nl/files/z95forXP_by_YoMommaNL.msi


Comments are more than welcome!
Last edited by jezus_gristus on 2007-01-21, 23:35, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Ravey » 2007-01-20, 03:58

This sounds interesting, if I wasn't stuck with Z for DOS I would try it. :<
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Postby BallWin » 2007-01-20, 08:24

GOOD news! I shall try it...
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Postby jezus_gristus » 2007-01-20, 10:08

Ravey wrote:This sounds interesting, if I wasn't stuck with Z for DOS I would try it. :<
Well, I don't totally support the following method of 'obtaining' a game, but you may want to try searching a popular filesharing netwerk for "bitmap brothers". Z95 is still out there.
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Postby CHYROS » 2007-01-20, 16:35

YAY! IT WORKS! I can actually run Z95 again! Hurrah!

The installer is very easy to use as it does everything for you; very nice. I found two ingame problems though; the music makes only half a cycle (stops after half a minute or so), and I can't save games. Other than that, the game works its full magic.
Remember, the meek shall inherit nothing. -- The Book of Cataclysm
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Postby jezus_gristus » 2007-01-20, 17:49

CHYROS wrote:YAY! IT WORKS! I can actually run Z95 again! Hurrah!

The installer is very easy to use as it does everything for you; very nice. I found two ingame problems though; the music makes only half a cycle (stops after half a minute or so), and I can't save games. Other than that, the game works its full magic.
Thanks, I'll see what I can do about the ingame problems you noticed... While the lack of music doesn't really affect the gameplay, being unable to save/load games is a bit more of a problem.
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Postby CHYROS » 2007-01-20, 18:19

jezus_gristus wrote:While the lack of music doesn't really affect the gameplay, being unable to save/load games is a bit more of a problem.
Yeah, the lack of music isn't disastrous, but the saving thing can be quite daunting. I think it's trying to write to the CD-ROM drive or something, because I keep getting a write error. Maybe a drive change oughtta do it.

There was a way to tell vanilla Z what drive to use by changing the drive letter in some config file, but I don't know which one it was anymore. Also, Z95 seems to have no config files.
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Postby Ravey » 2007-01-20, 18:33

I've found z95, no idea if i'll be able to get it though. :d

Is there a performance increase over playing with Z-Cool? (Which is based on Z for Dos)
Last edited by Ravey on 2007-01-20, 18:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby BallWin » 2007-01-20, 18:35

CHYROS wrote:YAY! IT WORKS! I can actually run Z95 again! Hurrah!
The installer is very easy to use as it does everything for you; very nice. I found two ingame problems though; the music makes only half a cycle (stops after half a minute or so), and I can't save games. Other than that, the game works its full magic.
NO WORK for NO-CD :(
Or I did not manage to start...
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Postby XStrategy » 2007-01-20, 22:46

jezus_gristus, do you have link to download version of z95 that works with your installer? Thanks
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Postby jezus_gristus » 2007-01-21, 00:08

ZOnline wrote:jezus_gristus, do you have link to download version of z95 that works with your installer? Thanks
Well as I already mentioned, I do not really support wares and don't know if posting warez links is allowed on this forum, but I've spotted more ed2k links on this forum... So here's the ed2k link (use emule or edonkey2000) for the Z95 cd that does (at least on my computer) work with my z95forXP installer: [url]ed2k://|file|[PC]%20Z%20+%20Z%20Expansion%20Kit%20-%20The%20Bitmap%20Brothers%20-%20[ENG.ITA.ESP].rar|561206360|D7D448E174A78B432B2BA1D86F78E9D1|/[/url]

There's one little issue however: when using this cd, the windows portion of Z95 is in Spanish. The game itself it not affected and is just in plain English.
BallWin wrote:NO WORK for NO-CD
Or I did not manage to start...
Doesn't the installer work at your computer? Are you using Windows XP and do you have Service Pack 2 installed? I've tested my z95forXP on a clean Windows XP SP2 installation and all worked fine... I might be able to help you and perhaps improve the overall quality of the installer if you provide some more details... Thanks.
Ravey wrote:I've found z95, no idea if i'll be able to get it though. :d

Is there a performance increase over playing with Z-Cool? (Which is based on Z for Dos)
Well I don't expect there to be any real performance increase, but don't forget Z95 is actually different from Z. Z95 features a bunch of extra levels and there is said to be a difference in gameplay.
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Postby BallWin » 2007-01-21, 04:00

jezus_gristus wrote:There's one little issue however: when using this cd, the windows portion of Z95 is in Spanish. The game itself it not affected and is just in plain English.
BallWin wrote:NO WORK for NO-CD
Or I did not manage to start...
Doesn't the installer work at your computer? Are you using Windows XP and do you have Service Pack 2 installed? I've tested my z95forXP on a clean Windows XP SP2 installation and all worked fine... I might be able to help you and perhaps improve the overall quality of the installer if you provide some more details... Thanks.
Exists patch, which replaces the Spanish language with the English language: http://game-era.com/patchWZ_eng.rar
Patch has NO-CD.
The theme was discussed here - viewtopic.php?t=179
In a theme the link to appload of the Spanish version is given.
=== Problem:
-- The loading of any level causes a stop of the computer
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Postby jezus_gristus » 2007-01-21, 11:50

BallWin wrote: === Problem:
-- The loading of any level causes a stop of the computer
Hmm you're not using the winz.exe from the patch you just mentioned? I'll include the patch in my next release of z95forXP, don't use it for now. When using the patch with my z95forXP installer, Z95 freezes probably when loading a level. This is because the adresses of the instructions have changed, causing the loader not to fix anything, but rather to mess up the winz.exe file (don't worry, only in your ram, nothing is permanent).
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Postby BallWin » 2007-01-21, 13:12

jezus_gristus wrote:
BallWin wrote: === Problem:
-- The loading of any level causes a stop of the computer
Hmm you're not using the winz.exe from the patch you just mentioned? I'll include the patch in my next release of z95forXP, don't use it for now. When using the patch with my z95forXP installer, Z95 freezes probably when loading a level. This is because the adresses of the instructions have changed, causing the loader not to fix anything, but rather to mess up the winz.exe file (don't worry, only in your ram, nothing is permanent).
It is true - I use the winz.exe from the patch. :(
Thanks, jezus_gristus. Your work has the large importance for all Z-gamers community. The reason not in that to play Z95 (though it is wonderful nevertheless). We can use all opportunities ZEditor and to create new levels for Z95. Now it will be easy to make.
I soon release special tools for creation of single levels - ZTools (it will be "Open Source", that anyone could improve an code). I think it considerably will help development of new moders for Z.
All of us shall win!!! :)
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Postby SpaceOne » 2007-01-21, 15:44

Thanks from me too. It's working on my XP without any services packs (at least first two levels, didn't try others yet).
Altough I get this error on startup
Image, everything plays fine.
There is an error with game saving, but I never save beetween levels, so that isn't a big problem.

Big thanks again.

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