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Corridor 7 CD-ROM: Rendezvous with an Old Friend
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 12:59 pm
   Subject: Corridor 7 CD-ROM: Rendezvous with an Old Friend
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Greets to you all! I'm a new member of the forum. I was once an avid Wolfenstein mapper in the old (very old) days but have not touched a copy of MAPEDIT in many years, however I had a hankering for some classic gaming goodness yesterday so I put together an old-school DOS gaming rig out of some spare parts I had rusting away in the back of my closet. Aside from Wolfenstein, one of the first games I reached for to fill the FAT16 partitions of this old box was Corridor 7 CD-ROM.

Corridor 7, while much maligned through the years, has always been one of my favorite Wolf-engine shooters. I like futuristic games with a dark theme, and despite its somewhat cartoony sprites and sometimes repetitive level design, Corr7 was a winner in my book. The best part about that game, no doubt, was the music. Back in '94 I actually recorded all of the Corr7 music to cassette tape so I could listen to it in the car.

Now, having said all that: I'm wondering if anyone might be able to help me with a technical problem. On my first attempt to launch CORR7CD on my newly-assembled DOS box, I received nothing but a blank screen for my efforts. (To be clear, I reiceved the initial startup countdown list after executing the batch file, then when the screen cleared, nothing ever came up.) I have my suspicions as to the cause and did not have time to investigate last night, so I wanted to elicit your opinions in the meantime. This seems to the be the only user group where Corridor 7 is even being discussed much less praised these days, so I think I'm in the right place!

The machine I assembled is a PII-300 based on an Intel LX chipset motherboard. All of the components within are either as old or older than the powertrain itself, except for one thing -- the video card. Right now I have a GeForce 3 in there. Is this card going to give me problems with these old games? I installed the GF3 because I'm thinking of also running Windows 98 and some OpenGL Doom ports on this box, and needed some hardware 3D support. But does the GF3 have any legacy DOS / VESA compatibility? Is this what could be causing CORR7CD to simply hang up on launch?

My other theory is this. Doesn't CORR7CD play an Autodesk Animator FLC movie when you first launch it? If it does, could there be an issue with the movies? Does anyone know if there's a command-line switch I can use to disable playing of movies? Or if I simply delete the SEQ*.CO7 files, will it skip trying to play them? I've long since lost the game's manual, unfortunately.

I read through the board here and it seems no one is aware of anyone having made any custom Corridor 7 levels. That's unfortunate, because this is a very fun game to map for, what with all the extra features of the engine. I made some custom levels for the floppy disk version of the game back when Mapedit 8.4 first came out -- I remember Warren Buss personally emailed me to tell me of Corridor 7 compatibility, because he and I had been discussing C7 support for several months and he had been having trouble getting Capstone to allow third-party modifications. But they finally relented, and I got to have fun mapping for one of my favorite Wolf-engine games at last. I'd share my levels with you all, but unfortunately they were lost long ago in an old 486 hard drive crash.

Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself and say that you've got another C7 fan amongst you.

By the way, Mishran, I checked out your C7 fan page -- very nice! Cheesy Grin
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 5:09 am
   Subject: Re: Corridor 7 CD-ROM: Rendezvous with an Old Friend
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B. Blaze wrote:
I've long since lost the game's manual, unfortunately.


You can get the manual of the disk version from http://corridor7.tripod.com/

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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 5:31 am
   Subject: Re: Corridor 7 CD-ROM: Rendezvous with an Old Friend
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Hi,

Are you using DosBox to run your old DOS games? It helps to get old things working on newer PC's (Wolfenstein runs perfectly on it). If you haven't checked it out, then here's the link to their website: http://dosbox.sourceforge.net

Cheers,
Martin

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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 11:52 am
   Subject: Re: Corridor 7 CD-ROM: Rendezvous with an Old Friend
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Thanks Frenkel, I found that copy of the manual just last night! Very Happy

Martin, yes, I'm quite familiar with DOSBox, and it is a beautiful piece of work. I've used it to run all kinds of DOS games on my primary machine, but what I'm attempting to do here is set up an old machine with legacy hardware that actually runs DOS 6.22 natively. It was in this environment in which I could not get Corridor 7 to work correctly.

Last night though, at about 4:00 am, I finally solved the lockup problem. After digging through a message board related to making old DOS games work (albeit on newer operating systems), I discovered a guy who was having the same problem with C7CD...in fact, he claimed he'd always had this problem. The way to solve it was to add the switch "nowait" to the C7 command line. I should have thought of this -- like in Wolfy, it skips you past the opening cinematics, which were indeed the cause of the lockup. Not my GeForce3.

I don't know what's wrong with the cinematics; I used to be able to see them on my old 486 when I first bought this game, but who knows. Now, however, I am having another problem: That accursed "all digital sounds are 100% nerve-chewing static" problem that plauged C7CD. If I run the game under Windows 98 in a command window, the digisounds work fine, though, so maybe I'll put up with it. Additionally, all of the wall and sprite animations (and fullbright palette cylces) are playing too fast. Don't know how to solve that one. I tried adding "noems noxms" to the command line, but it didn't help.

Got Mapedit set up to edit the game as well, but from my playing it last night, it hasn't aged quite as well as I'd hoped. Wolfenstein is still great fun to play, but C7 feels fragile...like it's gonna break at any minute. *laughs* The disk version is much more stable; I installed that one too (thank you Mishran; I'd long lost my original floppies too!) and it gave me no trouble at all.
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 5:30 pm
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B. Blaze wrote:
By the way, Mishran, I checked out your C7 fan page -- very nice! Cheesy Grin


Thanks, I appreciate the comment... and for anyone who DOES care... yes I'm still alive and no there hasn't been any updates to the site. I've been hooked on this Morrowind:GOTY game I just purchased a few weeks ago. Elder Scrolls series is da bomb! Boy, I miss TES:Arena... never got to play Daggerfall though. Sad

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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 10:01 am
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@ Mishran - Arena is available officially from www.morrowind.com to commemorate
10 years or so of elder scrolls.

Joe

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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 10:07 am
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Wish I could find my Daggerfall CD; I'd give it to you if I could. Never got into it myself.
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 2:05 am
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If I built an old DOS box I'd use an old 486 Smile

Corridor 7 runs fine on my Pentium 2 laptop without using the nowait perameter. The executable for the game is dated 4 April 1994 (12.26pm) and is 197kb in size. It's the floppy disk version of the game. I wonder if the CD version had some changes? Anyway, when I run it I get a title screen with a title heading that fades out, then leads into an intro storyline before going to the game menu. Are these the cinematics you refer to? My laptop's a 266mhz system running Win 98 and formatted with FAT32. The soundcard is a Crystal PnP with an IRQ of 5, so hearing sounds/music in Wolf based games is no problem. Videocard is nothing special (Neomagic Magicgraph).

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 5:45 am
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I think he's referring to the CD-ROM version. It uses FLI files for the cinematics. I had the same problem that he did, then I replaced the cinematic files with 0 byte dummy files to confuse the game and I get it to run fine without the nowait, only with no cinematics. I tried deleting them at first but sometimes the game crashed with a type of "can't find [filename]" error message. Music is what I'm still having problems with. Can't enable CD music as my game will freeze or crash. The MIDI doesn't play due to, I'm guessing, incompatibilites with the Windows DOS prompt. I couldn't get the game to run at all until I created a PIF file and adjusted all the memory settings to the highest they go.

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 12:23 pm
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That's correct, I'm referring to the CD-ROM version. AReyeP, the stills you see fading in and out during the intro of the floppy version are actually a full-fledged FLI cinematic in the CD-ROM verison; the stills are paletted screen captures from the FLI. The C7 EXE in the CD-ROM version was changed significantly enough to introduce a whole crapload of new bugs and stuff; I always had loads of crash problems and lockups with the CD version but nary a hiccup with the floppy version. All on the same machine, too.

Mishran, thanks for the tip about replacing the cinematics with zero-byte files, I'll try that! I'm experiencing the stupid staticky digisounds problem but my FM music works fine. Haven't tried the CD music; I never liked it that much so I didn't bother with it this time around.

Heh, a 486 is what I played all of this stuff on originally and it's definitely great for old games like this, but the 486 that was once my primary game box is now lying dead on the basement floor of my old house in Michigan. The oldest functioning machine I have now is my PII-300, but that's cool by me because it's got ISA slots for my old-school sound board, but also some decent horsepower to run Windows and newer (but still old) games like Duke3D, Terminator: Future Shock and even stuff as new as Interstate '76. Smile
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 4:51 pm
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No problem with the C7 tip, hope it works for ya. You might have to burn a new CD with the dummy files. I have a CD-ROM drive emulator, so I just cooked up an ISO to play off of. Laughing
The oldest PC I currently have is an IBM Thinkpad i Series with a 400MHz Celeron. The refresh rate of the screen is so bad that I've resorted to hooking it up to a spare monitor to keep from going blind. It plays a decent number of older games well, but there are some, C7 included, that just don't play at all... I think it has to do with the onboard soundcard. Wonder what I can get for it on eBay... Think

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 1:49 pm
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I have a bit of information from Les, one of the creators of Corridor 7. It addresses the FMV problems that cause C7 to crash.

Quote:
Also, I noticed on the forums a lot of people were having problems with the CD version crashing when trying to play the movies. This is probably due to the system not having any expanded memory. Back then we were restricted to 640K of real-mode RAM (not protected mode) so we had to cram as much as we could in there. The FMV sequences use expanded (EMS) memory to free up memory for the game itself. If no expanded memory is found the game will crash when playing the movies.


Little tip from the programming man himself! He's a nice guy too I might add. Cool

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 9:43 am
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What a stupid bug. The game should check if there is EMS available.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:46 am
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Can someone list all the differences between the floppy version and the cd rom version? Mobygames Corridor 7 site says that the only difference are the movies, but I don't believe that.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:53 am
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Cinematic movies, network play, 10 new alien levels, 3 new weapons, several new aliens including an undocumented alien "Nerraw".

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:00 pm
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Thanks Smile. I should add this to the Mobygames database.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 4:07 pm
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I think I'll also have to remember to add it to my site... Razz

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 7:35 am
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Mishran wrote:
Cinematic movies, network play, 10 new alien levels, 3 new weapons, several new aliens including an undocumented alien "Nerraw".


According to MapEdit 8.4 there are also teleporters/transporters only in the CD version.

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