Help with old wads

How do I start old wads such as Operation Arctic Wolf, Operation Rheingold, Obituary, Doom2 Extreme Gold etc... with GZDoom?

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Most old things work right out the box. In fact, many work even inside the box; I don't bother extracting the wad from the zip and just send the zip to ZDoom, it works.

When it doesn't work is if the mod uses a nonstandard installation method (the zip doesn't contain the wad itself directly, but you have to run something; e.g. Cleimos 2 is in two parts).

The other instance in which it doesn't work is if there is a dehacked patch that isn't also embedded in the wad. ZDoom will automatically load any dehacked.* file it finds in the archive, but that won't help you much if it tries to load DEHACKED.EXE instead of, say, OBTIC1.DEH.

Sometimes, instead of a single wad file, there are several, and they need to be loaded in a specific order. ZDoom loads wad files found in a zip in alphabetical order; so suppose you have something like a mod named WEIRDO.WAD and a patch named WEIRDFIX.WAD that needs to be loaded after, that won't work right.

So: first step: identify what's in the package. Let's look at Obituary:

It has seven different game files:
OBTIC1.WAD
OBTIC2.WAD
OBTIC3.WAD
OBDEATH1.WAD
OBDEATH2.WAD
OBTIC1.DEH
OBTIC2.DEH
That's not a good sign. Let's keep looking:
OBTIC.DOC
FILE_ID.DIZ
README.DOC
OBTIC11.TXT
Four different text files. Okay, three different text files, since README.DOC and OBTIC11.TXT are exactly the same file. Continuing:
OBTIC.EXE
DEHACKED.EXE
NWT.EXE
OBNORM.BAT
OBWEAP.BAT
OBUNINST.BAT
Six different executables. And one of them is NWT. We're screwed. (See installation notes here.

So, we'll have no choice but to read more in details. Obituary features an optional weapon patch. This explains part of the complexity. Do you want the weapon patch or not? We'll go with "yes".

Let's look at OBWEAP.BAT:

echo ------ Batchfile to install Obituary with special ------
echo ------               weapon patch                 ------
echo    If you want to uninstall, do it with OBUNINST.BAT!
echo.
echo # Copying files. Overwrite, if necessary to type it in.
echo # It doesn't matter, if DOOM2.OBT doesn't exist.
echo # It doesn't matter, if OBTIC2.OBT doesn't ecist.
echo.
copy doom2.obt doom2.exe
copy doom2.exe doom2.obt
copy doom2.exe doomhack.exe
copy obtic2.obt obtic2.wad
copy obtic2.wad obtic2.obt
pause
echo # Running Dehaked. Should be successful.
echo.
dehacked -load obtic2.deh
pause
echo # Joining PWADs. Should be successful.
echo.
nwt -join obtic2.wad obtic3.wad
pause
echo # Restoring. Can break with 'dir not found' or something.
echo # It doesn't matter.
echo.
nwt -restore
pause
echo # Merging with NWT. Should be successful.
echo.
nwt -merge obtic2.wad
pause
echo # Copying again. This must be successful.
echo.
copy doomhack.exe doom2.exe
pause
echo # All done. Now starting Obituary.
echo # Abort now, if you don't want.
pause
doom2 -file obtic1.wad obtic2.wad

The dehacked stuff can be handled by ZDoom; but the way NWT works cannot. So we're going to need DOSBox and type the nwt commands (first join, then merge) there. Once that's done, make a copy of OBTIC2.DEH, name it DEHACKED.DEH. Zip DEHACKED.DEH, OBTIC1.WAD, and OBTIC2.WAD together. Load that zip in ZDoom.


Alternatively, say "fuck it", grab Obtic from the DSDA, and ignore everything except what's in the "fixed" directory.




For most, though, it'll be a lot simpler. Find the dehacked file, copy it as dehacked.deh, slip it right back in the zip, load the zip.

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