Notable game findings with Hallfiry's coverdisk catalogue

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MrFlibble
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Notable game findings with Hallfiry's coverdisk catalogue

Post by MrFlibble » March 31st, 2016, 4:04 pm

Hallfiry's gaming magazine coverdisk catalogue proved to be an invaluable tool for game history research on numerous occasions. I thought that it would be a good idea to highlight some of the more interesting findings in a separate thread.

Rare original electronic distributions of games
These are distributions which were known to exist, but impossible to find online - either completely unavailable, or known versions were compromised by third-party modifications (e.g. a repacked archive with a modified configuration file).

Abuse Shareware v1.01
Found at: http://kultcds.com/Catalog/index.php?n= ... 59948&o=da
Download: ABUSE101.ZIP
NOTES: This was simply not available online. A newer shareware version 1.05 came out roughly a week after, which likely explains its rarity. Previously this version was found in unpacked form on several CDs.

Amulets & Armor Shareware v1.0
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 42561&o=da
Download: AADEMO.ZIP
NOTES: Compromised archives were available, most of them repacks with modified configuration files and/or third-party additions. The same file as on the CD was subsequently found at the GamesMania Demo Depot (called aademo1.zip), confirming that this indeed is the authentic distribution.

Blood Shareware v1.10
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... os$2FBlood
Download: BLOOD.EXE
NOTES: This distribution had to be reassembled, as the CD only contains the shareware installer already unpacked. However Monolith used an unregistered copy of PKZIP v2.04 to create self-extracting archives for online distribution, making reconstruction possible. The order in which the files were packed is the same as in v0.99 and v1.11 (and possibly all other versions). The date stamp on MONO320.PCX was used as reference (it's the same in all shareware versions) to compensate for differing time zones.

Cyril Cyberpunk Shareware v0.51
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... ol$2FStuff
Download: CYBERKID.EXE
NOTE: Unavailable online or via the Wayback Machine, this file's exact size in bytes was known from external sources.

Eradicator CD Demo v1.02
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 30220&o=da
Download: erad_cd.zip
NOTES: This demo is highly unlikely to have been distributed online, but it is identical in all aspects to the Internet demo v1.02 save for the addition of music and a cinematic that shows gameplay and some animated cutscenes.

Powerslave "Freeware" Demo
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 32822&o=da
Download: PSLAVE.ZIP
NOTES: This release was previously known as a split-file version which came in three archives (found here) with third-party additions like the FILE_ID.DIZ files. However, PSLAVE.ZIP contains a different readme file, although the game files are all identical in these two variants.

Seven Kingdoms Demo (Oct 20, 1997)
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 67168&o=da
Download: 7kdemo.exe
NOTES: Subsequently found here.

Seven Kingdoms Demo (Dec 11, 1997)
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 41646&o=da
Download: 7KDEMO.ZIP

The Terminator: Future Shock Demo v0.144
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 53085&o=da
Download: shockdem.zip

Warzone 2100 Demo 1f
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 03444&o=da
Download: WARZONE.EXE

Warzone 2100 Demo 1h
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 12160&o=da
Download: wzdemo11.exe

Warzone 2100 German Demo 1P
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 95680&o=da

Warzone 2100 German Demo 1Q
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 96096&o=da
Download: Warzone2100.exe

Warzone 2100 Demo 1R
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 06556&o=da
Download: multiwarzone2100.exe

Rare or interesting versions in unpacked form
Those who compiled magazine cover disks more often than not preferred storing the files unpacked, rather than keeping original archives they downloaded. Because of this, many releases which were originally distributed over BBSs or the Internet are currently known only in their unpacked form.

The Elder Scrolls: Arena Updated Demo (Feb 17, 1994)
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 06089&o=da
Download (repacked): arenad.zip
NOTES: The electronic distribution is known to have existed from demo download page at Bethesda's website, which indicates its name and exact size in bytes. The demo files have been packed using PKZIP v2.04, which produced a zip file of identical size, confirming the authenticity of the distribution. However, it might very well not be byte-by-byte identical to its counterparts from Bethesda, as the order in which the files were packed may be different.

Horde: The Northern Wind English Win32 Demo
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... f=$2FHorde
Download (repacked): horde_demo.zip
NOTES: This version is known to have been distributed electronically, as the download was mentioned at Buka's website. However, the file was not preserved by the Wayback Machine.

In Pursuit of Greed Demo v1.016
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 59511&o=da
Download (repacked): greed.zip

In Pursuit of Greed Demo v1.020
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... os$2FGreed
Download (repacked): greed102.zip
NOTES: This version was found on an Interactive Entertainment CD, packaged with a custom installer that was in use by Interactive Entertainment. The installer is a Win16 application, making it unviable for both DOSBox and modern Windows varieties.

Nebula Fighter E3 Demo v1.2
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... s$2FNebula

Nebula Fighter DOS/Windows Shareware v1.1
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... =$2FNebula
Download (repacked): nfighter.zip

Realms of Arkania: Shadows over Riva Demo v1.62
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... Main$2F386

The Settlers II: Veni, Vidi, Vici German Demo v0.15
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 06930&o=da
Download (repacked): S2Demo015ger.rar
NOTES: This version seems to have been superseded by the much more widespread v0.16. So far, no electronic distribution of v0.15 is known, unlike v0.16.

Star Wars: Dark Forces Demo v0.16D
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 60716&o=da
NOTES: A slightly earlier release than the regular Internet download version (v0.163D), which apparently was CD-exclusive. Does not have difficulty selection.

Star Wars: Dark Forces German Demo v0.163D
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 54839&o=da
Download (repacked): dfdemo_g.zip
NOTES: This demo is in all aspects identical to the English language Internet demo, but everything is translated into German. So far no official electronic distribution of this version was found.

The Terminator: Future Shock Demo v0.136
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 19521&o=da
NOTES: There has been some controversy whether this version was officially distributed by Bethesda, but recently we were able to confirm that this is a legit release. The file name was presumably shockdem.zip, just like the later v0.144.

Warzone 2100 Pre-Release Demo v0.1 (w/ video)
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 57221&o=da

Warzone 2100 Demo 1b (w/ video)
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 67745&o=da
Download (repacked): wz2100.zip

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Hallfiry
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Re: Notable game findings with Hallfiry's coverdisk catalogue

Post by Hallfiry » March 31st, 2016, 5:58 pm

I feel quite honored by this thread. And I'm always surprised that nobody created such a simple catalog before me...

Anyways, I have one demo to add to the list above, namely The Dark Eye: Shadows over Riva, version 1.62. It was left with one instance of demo 1.70 on CD-ROM Magazin 05/97:
http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... Main$2F386
It's about one month older than the regular 1.70 demo:
http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 18635&o=da
Magazine cover disk catalog:
http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/

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Re: Notable game findings with Hallfiry's coverdisk catalogue

Post by MrFlibble » April 2nd, 2016, 5:40 am

Hallfiry wrote:Anyways, I have one demo to add to the list above, namely The Dark Eye: Shadows over Riva, version 1.62. It was left with one instance of demo 1.70 on CD-ROM Magazin 05/97:
http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... Main$2F386
It's about one month older than the regular 1.70 demo:
http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 18635&o=da
I should really get a better idea of the demo releases of DSA games. I remember downloading a demo of SoR from somewhere (a repack off a CD IIRC), which worked fine except there was no sound for a reason. I did not know about any playable demo versions of previous instalments (there's a non-playable preview at uwp-uml archives of the first game) before you added some to the downloads. Do you know if any of those were distributed electronically? I've just checked the contents of Attic's website via the Wayback Machine but there's only a few patches. (Of course, the developers did not always offer downloads of a demo from their site, leaving this to publishers.)

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Re: Notable game findings with Hallfiry's coverdisk catalogue

Post by MrFlibble » April 6th, 2016, 12:37 pm

Cold Dreams Shareware v1.05
Found at: http://kultcds.com/Catalog/index.php?n= ... 36160&o=da
Download (repacked): COLDD.ZIP

Cold Dreams Shareware v1.06
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 11584&o=da
Download (repacked, matches original size): COLDREAM.ZIP
NOTE: This game seems to be very rare.

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Re: Notable game findings with Hallfiry's coverdisk catalogue

Post by MrFlibble » May 2nd, 2016, 3:02 pm

Thanks to the catalogue some progress was made recently in the research of demo releases of Build engine games, including the following findings:

Powerslave Large Demo
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 46613&o=da
NOTES: This version is somewhere in-between the early demo releases and the final demo. It includes four levels and a tutorial, but not multiplayer levels.

William Shatner's TekWar Demo
Found at: http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 01065&o=da
NOTES: This seems to be the earliest demo release, judging by date stamps. It also includes the entire intro sequence from the game.

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Re: Notable game findings with Hallfiry's coverdisk catalogue

Post by Cire » May 6th, 2016, 8:25 pm

I'm now in progress of ripping more game demo disks. Sorry it took so long! :)
I noticed that I missed to upload some disks earlier, so I'm going to go thru all my disks again and see which ones I forgot to upload earlier and re-rip them.

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Re: Notable game findings with Hallfiry's coverdisk catalogue

Post by MrFlibble » June 12th, 2016, 10:10 am

Here's an original installer of some Pie in the Sky Software's 3D Game Creation System release:
http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 2&f=$2FGcs

Judging by the date stamps (June 1995), it was released way after the early Meltdown demo (which came out in March 1995) but before Industrial Killers (October 1995). Unfortunately, the disk image at archive.org is corrupt and there seems to be no way to extract the files.

The folder name suggests that the original ZIP file could have been called gcs.zip.

[Edit] This is likely an early version of Industrial Killers. The date stamps and file sizes of install.exe, license.doc, file_id.diz and vendor.doc match those in the ikillers.zip package found earlier.

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Re: Notable game findings with Hallfiry's coverdisk catalogue

Post by Hallfiry » June 12th, 2016, 1:29 pm

MrFlibble wrote:Here's an original installer of some Pie in the Sky Software's 3D Game Creation System release:
http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... 2&f=$2FGcs

Judging by the date stamps (June 1995), it was released way after the early Meltdown demo (which came out in March 1995) but before Industrial Killers (October 1995). Unfortunately, the disk image at archive.org is corrupt and there seems to be no way to extract the files.

The folder name suggests that the original ZIP file could have been called gcs.zip.

[Edit] This is likely an early version of Industrial Killers. The date stamps and file sizes of install.exe, license.doc, file_id.diz and vendor.doc match those in the ikillers.zip package found earlier.
In fact it IS Industrial Killers.
IKILLERS Game version 1.00
Full multi-level 3D Action Game ala DOOM,
256 Color graphics, excellent action,
great quality sound effects and music,
and great animation. Battle bad guys,
and creepy monsters. Includes advertising
info for the Pie 3D Game Creation System.
Req. 386-33 or better CPU, DOS, VGA, SB opt.
Also, it unpacked fine for me and I could play it.
Magazine cover disk catalog:
http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/

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Re: Notable game findings with Hallfiry's coverdisk catalogue

Post by MrFlibble » June 13th, 2016, 7:56 am

Hallfiry wrote:Also, it unpacked fine for me and I could play it.
Are you talking about the PC Games #10 ISO at archive.org, or the zip file I linked to? because I both tried viewing the ISO's contents via archive.org's built-in viewer system and downloaded the whole image (and then tried IsoBuster to extract the files), and it seems that the ISO is corrupted beyond recovery.

On another note, here's also something that could be 3D GCS related:
http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... ling$2FGcs

Many other shareware games in that folder are from Ticsoft's catalogue (which also includes 3D GCS).

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Hallfiry
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Re: Notable game findings with Hallfiry's coverdisk catalogue

Post by Hallfiry » June 13th, 2016, 8:29 am

MrFlibble wrote:
Hallfiry wrote:Also, it unpacked fine for me and I could play it.
Are you talking about the PC Games #10 ISO at archive.org, or the zip file I linked to? because I both tried viewing the ISO's contents via archive.org's built-in viewer system and downloaded the whole image (and then tried IsoBuster to extract the files), and it seems that the ISO is corrupted beyond recovery.

On another note, here's also something that could be 3D GCS related:
http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... ling$2FGcs

Many other shareware games in that folder are from Ticsoft's catalogue (which also includes 3D GCS).
Tbh, I have no idea where I got my image of the CD back in the day, but I have one on my external harddrive that is named "1995-09_Disc_10.iso" and is 659.761.152 bytes in size. But indeed, the PC Gamer CDs at archive.org tend to be quite corrupted (I guess they don't lick them before ripping them. seriously.).

The game that comes as a demo of GCS is again Industrial Killers (in german). The rungame.exe is dated to May 7, 1995, The newest file in the data folder is from August 17, 1995.

The catalog that comes with the demo is quite important for research, I suppose.
Last edited by Hallfiry on June 13th, 2016, 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
Magazine cover disk catalog:
http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/

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Re: Notable game findings with Hallfiry's coverdisk catalogue

Post by MrFlibble » June 13th, 2016, 10:16 am

Hallfiry wrote:Tbh, I have no idea where I got my image of the CD back in the day, but I have one on my external harddrive that is named "1995-09_Disc_10.iso" and is 659.761.152 bytes in size. But indeed, the PC Gamer CDs at archive.org tend to be quite corrupted (I guess they don't like them before ripping them. seriously.).
It turns out that archive.org has a different ISO of the same CD here:
https://archive.org/details/pcgamer-coverdisc-1995-09

This is probably the one you've got. It's also not the first time archive.org has duplicates (which actually gets useful if one version is cue/bin, as the ISO their viewer does not support that format).
Hallfiry wrote:The game that comes as a demo of GCS is again Industrial Killers (in german). The rungame.exe is dated to May 7, 1995, The newest file in the data folder is from August 17, 1995.

The catalog that comes with the demo is quite important for research, I suppose.
Interesting! Is the image of this In'Side Shareware CD available anywhere? I can only find In'Side Multimedia at your site which seems to be a different thing.

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Re: Notable game findings with Hallfiry's coverdisk catalogue

Post by Hallfiry » June 13th, 2016, 10:25 am

MrFlibble wrote:
Hallfiry wrote:I guess they don't like them before ripping them. seriously.
What a stupid typo of mine. It was supposed to say "lick".

Anyways: In'side Shareware isn't available anywhere, yet. I guess it'll be my duty to upload my rips of them later today.
Magazine cover disk catalog:
http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/

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Re: Notable game findings with Hallfiry's coverdisk catalogue

Post by MrFlibble » June 13th, 2016, 10:55 am

BTW, what's Egeling? Is that a German shareware distributor?

The same CD also seems to have an early release of Charly the Clown:
http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/index.ph ... e$2FCharly

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Re: Notable game findings with Hallfiry's coverdisk catalogue

Post by Hallfiry » June 13th, 2016, 11:16 am

MrFlibble wrote:BTW, what's Egeling? Is that a German shareware distributor?
Egeling refers to a company named Jürgen Egeling Computer, who would commercially distribute a number of games and programs:
Arthur, Steelshot, Entombed, Game Creation System, Roadhog, Outer Ridge, Funball, Flying Tigers 1, Flying Tigers 2, Cyber Puck, Rollin 1, Rollin 2, Sound Club, Brix, Jetpack, Dschump, Fintris, Gateworld, God of Thunder, Star Hammer, Hexxagon, Megatron, Movies to go, Phage, Rallo Gump, Redhook's Revenge, Shards, Skyroads, Squarez Deluxe, Brain Storm Pro, Tubes, Wari, Color Wizard, World Quest, Argo Checkers, Chinese Checkers.
Last edited by Hallfiry on June 13th, 2016, 2:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Magazine cover disk catalog:
http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/

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Re: Notable game findings with Hallfiry's coverdisk catalogue

Post by MrFlibble » June 13th, 2016, 11:36 am

Hallfiry wrote:Egeling refers to a company named Jürgen Egeling Computer
Yeah, I already Googled that :) The name sounds familiar - I'm guessing it's mentioned in an order form of some shareware game or other.

In fact, MobyGames suggests that Jürgen Egeling Computer is either related to Ticsoft or the same thing.

What puzzles me a bit is that the old Ticsoft website apparently does not have all the downloadable versions of games on that CD (including the GCS demo).

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