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MrFlibble

How to run the Mac version of Wolf3D on PC without emulators

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(This seems like the right place to post.)

A while ago I became interested in Mac emulation, considering that a number of games for that platform have unique high-resolution graphics (e.g. Warcraft: Orcs & Humans). However, almost every emulator I could find requires the original Mac ROM as well as MacOS and other software to run, and I own neither. Of course these might be obtained from the Internet but I try to avoid this kind of practice.

After some rather fruitless search I found a solution to this problem in the form of a piece of software called Executor. This is not an emulator but a compatibility layer like Wine, and it does not need any ROMs or the original MacOS. There are versions for DOS, Windows and Linux.

Executor is long discontinued and the owners released it as freeware by making public a registration code for the shareware version (source code is also available). The only downside is that not all Mac programmes run smoothly or are supported at all, and Mac software that requires a version of MacOS higher than 7.0 will not work. Sometimes there are issues with sounds etc.

That said, I checked out the Mac shareware version of Wolfenstein 3-D and it turns out to work quite well in Executor, with sounds, music and everything. Here's a screenshot from the game running at 640x480:

(Actually I took that shot in DOSBox using the DOS version of Executor, although it works much slower compared to the native Windows version.)

The E-Maculation Wiki has basic instructions on setting up and running Executor:
http://emaculation.com/doku.php/executor_setup

The shareware version of Mac Wolf3D can be downloaded here. The file is called wolfenstein-threed-101.hqx. You might need to right-click on it and then select Save File As... to download it.

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MrFlibble said:

After some rather fruitless search I found a solution to this problem in the form of a piece of software called Executor. This is not an emulator but a compatibility layer like Wine, and it does not need any ROMs or the original MacOS.

Pretty sure it's still an emulator, if it's allowing you to run 68k code on an x86 CPU.

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Point taken, but it's still not the same kind of emulator as DOSBox because it does not emulate the whole of Mac 68k architecture.

IIRC the official docs say that Executor uses a process of "dynamic recompilation" of 68k code to run it on x86.

BTW, Happy New Year!

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Dynamic recompilation means that the code is recompiled into x86 code, it is pretty much an emulator and not a compatibility layer. But let's not be pedantic, it is another way to launch the games and there is a DOS version, too, from what you said. So this may be useful to people.

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I'm amazed Executor is accurate enough to run this without crashing. I recall Basilisk II having all kinds of trouble with it back in the day, and that had the benefit of having the Mac boot ROMs and actual operating system.

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Impressive. I'm only disappointed that I didn't grow up with Mac, so I basically know of zero software worth running through this =p

(Hmm... I think there's a Mac version of Doom, too)

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VGA said:

Dynamic recompilation means that the code is recompiled into x86 code, it is pretty much an emulator and not a compatibility layer.

To be super honest, I specifically put the "without emulators" part into the topic title in the hope of attracting more attention :)

VGA said:

But let's not be pedantic, it is another way to launch the games and there is a DOS version, too, from what you said. So this may be useful to people.

I've only run the DOS version in DOSBox, it's obviously slower than using the native Windows thing, but for Wolf3D it's still fast enough I could record a video in 640x480 to produce screenshots for MobyGames.

Here's more info on Executor and the different versions:
https://www.classicdosgames.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1348

BTW, the documentation says it can also run PowerPC Mac software if the programme itself is running on a PowerPC. There's a compiled version for Fedora and I considered trying to set up a QEMU installation of Fedora for PowerPC and running some Mac stuff through it, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

chungy said:

Impressive. I'm only disappointed that I didn't grow up with Mac, so I basically know of zero software worth running through this =p

(Hmm... I think there's a Mac version of Doom, too)

From what I can tell, the Mac version of Doom is roughly the same thing as the DOS version but the screen is stretched to 640x400. Maybe there are other modes, but I haven't tried them yet. The Mac demo of Hexen doesn't work in Executor. I managed to run the Mac Warcraft demo (this version of the game is unique because of high-res graphics), but the palette is garbled so I had to go an extra couple of miles (including extraction of Mac palettes from the data files with my friend's assistance) to get proper screenshots of the game.

Apparently there are some Mac-exclusive titles worth checking out, but I haven't tried them out either. I've heard about a series called Escape Velocity which is supposedly good. Also it might very well be the case that the very good Exile series of RPG titles may be more compatible with modern Windows versions via Executor (the games only have Win16 releases but not Win32).

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The beta versions of ECWolf support Mac Wolf3D, but you have to find a copy of it either online or buy it off eBay.

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On 04.01.2017 at 3:45 PM, MrFlibble said:

Apparently there are some Mac-exclusive titles worth checking out, but I haven't tried them out either. I've heard about a series called Escape Velocity which is supposedly good. Also it might very well be the case that the very good Exile series of RPG titles may be more compatible with modern Windows versions via Executor (the games only have Win16 releases but not Win32).

Recently I discovered LairWare's shareware Macintosh port of Ultima III, and it runs fine in Executor, even in DOSBox:
xxzrOpg.png


I've tested this with v1.3 available from the archived copy of Lairware's website. The port features high-resolution graphics, animation and sound effects, also optional music. The unregistered shareware version allows to play freely except you can't enter the land of Ambrosia.

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