Jagged Alliance Internet demo restored

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MrFlibble
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Jagged Alliance Internet demo restored

Post by MrFlibble » March 30th, 2016, 3:25 pm

A while ago I found the official download of the Jagged Alliance demo that was available from Sir-Tech Software's website and got archived by the Wayback Machine: jademo.zip. The same file was also available from one of the publishers, Megamedia Corporation. This distribution is a custom DOS installer packaged in an ordinary ZIP archive.

What I did not know because I did not actually try to install the demo (I only checked that the file was downloadable and opened properly) is that the archive somehow got corrupted. FreeCommander unpacks the contents without any issues, but the actual DOS PKZIP reports a CRC error with one of the installer files, JADEMO.001. As a result, the installer reports an error halfway through the installation routine, and aborts the entire process, rendering the demo unplayable.

I managed to find an earlier distribution of the same demo (jademo.zip) which installs fine but DOSBox needs to pretend that the installer runs off a floppy disk - apparently, before the Internet the demo was distributed on disks.

A closer examination of Sir-Tech's website's contents via the Wayback Machine revealed that there were actually two files called jademo.zip, the second one located here. However it's only about half the size of the other demo and FreeCommander reports an error stating that the file isn't really a ZIP archive. Nevertheless, PKZIPFIX restored what it could from this version, and the only file that was corrupted turned out to be JADEMO.002. The other files, including JADEMO.001, were intact and could be extracted.

Adding JADEMO.002 from the first file to the restored contents of the second one produced a fully functional installer that does not report errors. I then used PKZIP to pack the files in the same order as they were in the first archive. The result can be downloaded here.

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