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Crossing Over: Tomb Raider 1-3
August 14, 2012 | Justin Ancheta
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The Tomb Raider 2 menu screen.
The early 1990's rise of games like Doom and Mortal Kombat, in 1993 and 1992 respectively, was one of the first jarring blows that left mainstream popular assumptions of video games with a bloody nose, bruised ribs, and an indignant black eye. If the space of those years saw gaming start to shed its widely-viewed innocence, then the late 1990's, with games like Tomb Raider, saw gaming begin to gain a sense of paradoxical maturity. Through a figure that superficially appealed to boyish, immature notions of women, Tomb Raider sparked conversations about truly mature topics in gaming on a level that arguably hadn't been seen before; conversations about sexuality and society, gender roles, gender depictions, and what all of that implied for video games and popular culture. As potentially damaging as Lara may have been to the video gaming community in all of her sexuality (both direct and implied), those conversations have continued to be an important facet of the development of video games as both entertainment, and as a narrative medium.

Tomb Raider: Lara's Dynamic Duo

Since everything that's immediately noticeable about Tomb Raider seems to come in twos, it seems only fitting that two tools are necessary to get GOG's release of the original Tomb Raider working on the Mac: DOSBox, and 3Dfx Glide emulation (through some very clever uses of OpenGL to emulate 3Dfx's famed 3D hardware acceleration API of yore). I've mentioned Alun Bestor's Boxer, and for most cases, Boxer is arguably the best solution for running DOS-based games on Mac OS X. However, Boxer doesn't have native 3Dfx support (as of this writing, Bestor has remarked that he's currently looking into it for the next major release of Boxer). That leaves us with a community solution: a seperate version of DOSBox with 3Dfx Glide emulation baked in, made by thedoctor45, a DOSBox community member who's no stranger to getting Windows and DOS games working on the Mac; he's one of the most active members on the Porting Team forums, and has worked dilligently to provide WINE-based compatibility wrappers for some of the most popular Windows games out there.

1) Extract the Tomb Raider installation data files - Download and run the Tomb Raider 1+2+3 installer, using the CrossOver Software Installer. Then, navigate to your drive_c folder (using "Open C: Drive in Finder")and pick out the Tomb Raider 1 folder, installed by default in the "Tomb Raider 1 2 3" folder. Inside the Tomb Raider 1 folder, there are two important steps which need to be done: First, drag the folder called "TOMBRAID" to the desktop. This is what contains the core data files that DOSBox needs to run the game. Second, take the files GAME.DAT, GAME.GOG and the files 02.mp3 to 10.mp3, and place them in a folder named "CD". Put that on the desktop too. This folder contains the CD files that the game will look for upon launch.

I need to add that this bundle currently only includes the base games for the original Tomb Raider trilogy; regrettably, the expansions (such as The Golden Mask and Unfinished Business) are not included, though given GOG's general tendency to included expansions for free with their associated base games, it's likely that we'll see them included later. Also, shortly after their release on GOG, an updater patch was released to address some outstanding bugs in the GOG release, ostensibly for Windows users. We'll ignore this, as we'll be using a different patch instead.

2) Download the Custom Max OS X 3Dfx Custom DOSBox build, and place your game files in the .app - the build is packaged as a convenient OS X .app file, that simply needs the requisite game files to work. General installation instructions are provided both on the forum thread where the download links are provided, and in the download itself...for our purposes, the folders CD and TOMBRAID which you placed on the desktop are what should be placed in the DOSBox build's Resources folder. Be sure to follow the rest of the installation instructions carefully -- if the glide2x.ovl file is installed improperly the game will not work.

3) Edit the Included DOSBox.conf file - finally, in the build's Resources folder (where you've just put your TOMBRAID and CD folders) is the all-important dosbox.conf file, the file which controls the settings for DOSBox. Skip to the very end of the file, to the section marked [autoexec]. Delete whatever is there and replace it with the following lines:

[autoexec]
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
@echo off
cls
# Mount the TOMBRAID directory as the C: drive.
mount c Resources/TOMBRAID/
# Mount the GAME.GOG image file as the TombRaider CD.
imgmount d Resources/CD/game.dat -t iso -fs iso
c:
tomb.exe

What these lines basically do is tell DOSBox where and how to mount and detect the Tomb Raider game files, and CD files. With that, that should be it - you can rename the .app to "Tomb Raider", and apply a nice icon to it as a finishing touch. If the game doesn't work on first launch, go through your TOMBRAID folder and make sure that it has the glide2x.ovl file, and make sure the CD folder has the files listed above. Also, make sure that the dosbox.conf file, the CD folder, and the TOMBRAID folder all reside in the build's /Contents/Resources folder. The game should run much more sharply and with less pixellated graphics thanks to the built-in libraries that emulate 3Dfx Glide API calls by way of OpenGL. So far, in my testing, the only noticeable bug are some color depth oddities during cutscenes; otherwise the game plays and controls beautifully.

Crossing Over into Tomb Raider 2 and 3

While the original Tomb Raider runs in DOSBox, Tomb Raider 2 and 3 run in Windows - so for these games CrossOver will be our go-to solution. However, they need a little more work first before we can play them.

1) Download the Tomb Raider Series XP/Vista Multi Patch - this patch was originally a community-made fan patch that later gained Eidos' tacit approval, and works on both Tomb Raider 2 and 3. In addition to bug fixes and compatibility patches that should help the game run better in CrossOver, the patch also takes out the game's built-in CD check. However, we need to do something first before we run it.

2) Burn your entire Tomb Raider 2 and 3 folders to CD/DVD - take the whole contents of the Tomb Raider 2 folder, found alongside the Tomb Raider 1 folder in your Tomb Raider 1 2 3 install in CrossOver, and burn it to a CD or DVD. Repeat this for your Tomb Raider 3 folder.

3) Run the Multi Patch with the burned CD/DVD mounted on your computer - now run the patch on your Tomb Raider 1 2 3 install; to patch your copy of Tomb Raider 2, run the patch with your burned Tomb Raider 2 disk mounted; for Tomb Raider 3, have your Tomb Raider 3 burned CD mounted. If you didn't burn or haven't mounted the CDs, the patch will refuse to function without a Tomb Raider 2 or 3 retail disk mounted. Since the GOG copy doesn't include these (for obvious reasons), burning the two CDs effectively creates dummy CDs for the Patch installer to detect, allowing it to run.

After that, both games should run perfectly. As with other games we've run in CrossOver, turn off "Allow Window Manager to Control the Windows" and "Allow Window Manager to Decorate the Windows" in wincfg to avoid other potential crashes.

Disclaimer: Justin Ancheta is a beta tester and volunteer advocate for Codeweavers, and maintains both a tutorial for getting GOG games to run on Mac OS X, and a list of games he has personally tested to work on Mac OS X through CrossOver, Wineskin, and open source ports.



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