Mechwarrior 2 for Linux!

Of all my years of gaming there is one game that has haunted me. This game is Mechwarrior 2. I purchased the game for my 486DX4 100mhz back in the day. It was great. It was the days when a CD-ROM and DOS was the hottest shit. The game had videos, 3d, the works. I ran at 640×480 and blew my friends away. I couldn’t turn it all the way up because I didn’t have a PCI video card. Heck, I didn’t have a PCI slot! Just 4 ISAs on a riser board.

Anyway, this was the mid 90’s and it was around that time that windows 95 came out, duh. Eventually reluctantly I switched to windows 95 because every new program back then started to require it. Mechwarrior 2 was lost to me. I had beaten it, but it was still my favorite game of the time. Not of all time, just at that time in my life. Imagine being really into a game and still getting tons of enjoyment from it and then all of a sudden you can’t play it at all. Yes, I know what I could have done, but I didn’t have the computery knowledge I have now back then. I mean, I knew more than most, but not nearly as much as I know now.

In the later 90’s I got my first computer that was my own, it was Pentium 3 450mhz. It is serving this web page to you right now. The BX chipset, more specifically the Abit BX6r2.0 motherboard, is the most stable durable motherboard/chipset ever. If I had to pick one computer to use forever I would pick that because it would never fail me in a million years. Anyway, I ran 98SE and Red Hat on it. No room for Mech2.

When I got to college I replace Red Hat with Mandrake four years ago and replaced 98SE with win2k three years ago. 1 year ago, in fact last September, I switched the mandrake with gentoo. At this point I was doing linux and windows 50/50. I also got my new desktop last August, nforce2, Athlon XP 2500+, FX5900. It’s what I’m using right now. I plan to use it for 4 more years. Still no Mechwarrior 2. At this point it has been almost 10 years since I’ve played this game. All my NES games had come back to me through emulation, game boy or other means. The only games from my childhood I could not revive were old DOS games, especially mech2.

Earlier this year, early February, I was fooling around with dosbox in windows xp. I got mechwarrio2 to load and go through the menus, but it always crashed when it was time for the game to actually start. I was so close I could taste it, yet it would not go. I got other games to work, like Quest for Glory, my roommates favorite. But mech2 still eluded me. I know there was a windows version I could have gotten that probably would have worked but I wasn’t going to do that. I had the original DOS CD-ROM and it was going to run goddamnit.

Just this past week I got a new hard drive, 160 gigs for $120. I will never want for space again, until I start ripping DVDs. I took this opportunity to switch to being 50% linux to 100% linux. I do have a 10 gig windows partition, but I only need it to run Steam. If I get winex I wont need it at all. I have managed to use only linux for over 7 days, and I’m going to keep it that way. This decision to be linux only has benefited me in many ways, but my timing could not have been more impeccable. It is as if the stars aligned to return my mechwarrior to me…

I’m sure you are aware of the release of new versions of Firefox and Thunderbird. Well, after I emerge -upped firefox I cleaned out my bookmarks. I found a bookmark to the vogon’s forum where I posted when I was trying to get mechwarrior 2 to work in windows with dosbox. I searched for mechwarrior and there was a thread… Mechwarrior 2 works with dosbox. Holy shit! I click on it, and don’t you know, the instructions were for windows. Was I cursed? No, I was not. I quickly did esearch -c dosbox. Yes! dosbox was available for gentoo. I emerged it in a rush. After taking about 10 minutes to make it go and create a dos folder in /home/apreche/dos I was ready to go. By modifying the instructions in the forum and combining them with my cd-rom and what I learned the last time I tried to do this a miracle came to be. Right now, as I type this, on my other monitor is an X window. It is managed quite nicely by my XFCE4 window manager. And in this X window is mechwarrior 2. It is running absolutely flawlessly. The frame rate is full. The graphics are perfect. The controls are pristine. The resolution is 640×480. I could not ask for more. Apparently the people running it under windows are still having sound problems. HAHAHAHA!!! I am the win!

It would take a whole lot to make me more happy right now. Its as if a long lost friend has returned out of the blue. And he returns to be a better friend than he was when he left. Back in the day I couldn’t run gaim and xmms while I played, guess what I can do now? With no loss in framrate no less. Mechwarrior 2 is one of the best games ever, and the old school dos version runs perfect under linux. This weekend I think I will try to get the ghost bear legacy expansion to run…


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4 Responses to Mechwarrior 2 for Linux!

  1. Keltic Hell says:

    thats just awesome,.,.
    i too was an old clanner from back in the day,.,. and iagree,..,mw2 was the best game ever,..,alot of good times were had by all during that games life., its great to hear that it can be run on linux,. .,as i too am an exclusive linux user at home,..,,. any luck with the new versions?

    take care
    Gary aka [BoW] Keltic Hell

  2. heeelllp says:

    hello i got ghost bear and i got mech2
    i love mech it is still one of my fav games to date
    just behind halo =p anyhow i would like to know how to do what u did and i would like to know how to get ghost bear to work if u managed it, i installed it and it did the starting movie and everything it made me happy. it loaded the main screen and it said create user. and i click it….the game crashes and i scream nooooooooooo! help would be appreciated

  3. Rhys Ulerich says:

    Of all of my old game CDs, MechWarrior 2 is the only one I never threw out (despite having moved at least 10 times since I purchased it and not having played the game in forever). This totally made my weekend.

  4. Mike Minadeo says:

    It’s 2017, 7 years since there was an official release of DOSBOX. Today I tried to get MechWarrior2 to run on the current DOSBOX release 0.74 on Xubuntu 16.04.

    I followed all of the typical instructions above, and echoed throughout the web.

    Install DOSBOX, RIP the Mechwarrior2 CD to .cue/.bin file. Mount the .cue file. Install from DOSBOX. Tweak the DOSBOX config…

    No love. :(

    After banging my head against the wall, trying 1000 different DOSBOX configurations, I tried installing the latest version of DOS BOX, 11-10-17, from repository. (It’s still being actively developed, just not released)

    That worked!!

    All the joy of MechWarrior is back on 2015 Lenovo, with AMD A10, Radeon R6, laptop, running Xubuntu.

    Happy 22nd year Anniversary MechWarrior. You still Rock!

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