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T-Rex

Playing STRAIN

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No matter if you unpack or download the unpacked version of STRAIN, if you try to play the game after installing, it doesn't start up, you just see the same menu of the launch file. Try to play by starting the exe file, but it doesn't work either. I have no alternative but use Boom to fire STRAIN, but I want like to know how to play the game in vanilla with starting the dehacked patch.

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Keep in mind that you need to use Deusf for the custom sprites on vanilla.

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http://www.doomworld.com/vb/thread/52315
^Try this thread. I got Strain working yesterday by following Grazza's advice.
Don't know about you, but Strain.exe didn't work for me at all (running Windows 7 64-bit), so I renamed it to Strain.lha and was able to extract everything from it. Then I just selected the files, copied, and pasted (right click pasting, since Ctrl+V doesn't seem to work for this) onto GZDoom.exe.
Worked like a charm.

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OK, so you have the strain.wad and strain.deh files, right? That's all you need to play it with a port, and be sure to load both. The port you use needs to have adequate support for deh, of course.

If you want to play it with Doom2.exe, then as K!r4 explained, you need to use deusf. If you regularly use Doom2.exe, then I'm rather surprised that this isn't familiar to you. Anyway, you need to make sure Doom.wad isn't in the same folder as strain.wad, and that doom2.wad and desuf.exe are in the same folder. Then use the following command line:

deusf -app strain.wad

(If your first thought on that is "what's a command line?", then you probably shouldn't be trying to use the vanilla exes at all, and stick to ports.)

Once you have done that, you need to load the deh patch using dehacked. Again, this is something that I'd expect to be familiar to regular Doom2.exe users. The command line will be:

dehacked -load strain.deh

Though you may need to edit the dehacked.ini file first. It looks complicated, but most of the lines are commented out, and the important ones are fairly obvious.

Alternatively, use dosbox and just run the installer.

Incidentally, when you say "using Boom", do you mean Prboom-plus? If so, then that should work fine, though be sure to set the complevel to 2. Amongst other things, this makes sure the map07 exit is handled correctly.

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I thought STRAIN was set up in such a way that you don't have to use deusf. It renames all of the sprites in the wad and uses DEHACKED to reference the new names. Wasn't this supposed to circumvent having to append all the sprites?

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The problem with sprites isn't their names; it's their range. If there are any lump with a name that does not look like a sprite name in the range of sprite lumps, the game aborts. That's why you can't use the flat hack (F_END without corresponding F_START) with sprites.

Regardless of whether you rename the sprites or not, the only way in which you'll be able to use custom sprites is by having all used sprites in the same archive so that they can in one uninterrupted S_START/S_END range.

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Hmm, this will be a bit tough to do since you need to avoid changing the original Doom2.wad while using Deusf to load the STRAIN sprites and Dehacked for the gameplay changes. I think there should be a version where you can just load up the game without having to go through all that trouble. I'm familiar with command lines, but I don't want to end up doing something unwanted to the Doom 2 wad file by accident.

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deusf -app does not alter the iwad in any way at all. There's nothing to worry about in that respect.

dehacked -load likewise does not alter Doom2.exe. It makes a copy of it and applies the changes to that.

Of course, you should always have these important files backed up in any case, just on general grounds.

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Well, I tried it, but I still got the same problem. I think there's a problem with the Strnhack.exe file. At least it works fine with source ports.

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Strnhack.exe is a copy of Doom2.exe modified with dehacked. So you need to run it under Dosbox. And add the wad to the command line.

strnhack -file strain.wad

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Tried, but I get the same crash message. I give up. I'm just going to use a source port to load up Strain. It's impossible to play Strain on vanilla.

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Obituary is the real headache if you ask me. Even with the so-called fixed versions the DEH don't work with ZDoom, so I'm screwed until someone can do it right.

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Cyanosis said:

Obituary is the real headache if you ask me. Even with the so-called fixed versions the DEH don't work with ZDoom, so I'm screwed until someone can do it right.



How about reporting the problem where it counts? If you just wait it out, it won't get fixed.

What's wrong with it. I can't remember having any problems with it?

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Okay, since I wasn't clear first time around on the problem with STRAIN, I'll try to explain:

I downloaded the unpacked version found at the Doomed Speed Demo Archives since the normal version is a real pain with the unpacking the files and all, I started up the Strain installer file, installed the wad, and tried to play the game, but it doesn't do anything, instead you're back at the installer menu again. I exited the file, and saw the newly made Strnhack.exe and Dehacked.ini file. I tried firing up Strnhack.exe, but it closed showing some crash and error messages.

So, I tried K!r4's suggestion by installing Strain manually, using Deusf and then Dehacked itself. The custom Doom2.exe file was made, but when I tried launching it, the same thing happened again.

I looked up the readme file to check how to install Strain properly. All it mentioned was just the unpacking, and the basic stuff on installing Strain, but nothing on getting through the problems to be able to play Strain on vanilla. After nearly an hour or so going nowhere, I gave up, and used Boom to play Strain. What a letdown that it's a vanilla megawad yet extremely difficult to be able to run it under the intended engine. Even Invasion 1 had a front-end that allows you to play the megawad on vanilla with the dehacked file.

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Graf Zahl said:

How about reporting the problem where it counts? If you just wait it out, it won't get fixed.

What's wrong with it. I can't remember having any problems with it?


I remember reading up on the issue when I was trying it out in early 2011. I think it's mentioned here and was also a topic of discussion in a thread here where Maes repackaged it along with another ancient, broken mod, and I think is an issue with Worch's TTP (and who knows what else). I assumed the matter was pretty much closed.

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T-Rex said:

It's impossible to play Strain on vanilla.

You're right; back when it was released everyone had to wait a year for source ports to come out so they could play it.

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Processingcontrol said:

You're right; back when it was released everyone had to wait a year for source ports to come out so they could play it.


Imagine how much trouble we had actually making the levels, without ever being able to play them. Complete nightmare :)

I do understand the OP's claim though, as DOSbox does not seem to handle the Strain program properly.

My recommendation is just to play it via Chocolate-Doom. That's what I did, when I re-played STRAIN earlier this year, after running into the same DOSbox issues as the OP.

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I've just retested strnhack.exe under Dosbox (under Windows 7), and it worked fine.

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I'm using Dosbox 0.74, but it shouldn't be highly version-sensitive, After all, strnhack.exe is just Doom2.exe with a few dehacked changes, and it should work in all Dosbox versions that support Doom2.exe, i.e. any from recent years.

Note that what I'm talking about here is just taking strain.wad and strain.deh and loading them up in just the same way that you load any other desuf-needing wad and deh with Doom2.exe.

I'm guessing that what has given you problems is using the STRAIN front-end to create the files and start the game. I don't see why that shouldn't work under Dosbox too though. Maybe it's to do with the file locations, and that fact that under Dosbox, the C-drive isn't necessarily the C-drive. If you make sure you have mounted C:\ (rather than C:\DOOM2, for instance), then I'd imagine it should work. Or there might be other ways around this.

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Grazza said:

Or there might be other ways around this.


Yeah: Chocolate-Doom, which saves me messing about with DOSBox at all :)

I think it was the merge process, rather than strnhack itself, that was an issue. You're probably right that it was something to do with the mounting of the drive. Ultimately, I got to play the WAD, and that's what matters.

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