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Shandalar 2012 Revisited

MicroProse's Shandalar Campaign Game, now with new cards & a new look!

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Shandalar 2012 Revisited

Postby CirothUngol » 24 Jun 2012, 08:11

Hola, compadres... long time no see!
Well, a few years after dropping off the face of the earth I finally got a hankerin' for me some Shandalar... only to find Korath's amazing project defunct (What?! ...and I missed out on the last year of updates?! Why did I ever leave...). So I decided to reach for Shandalar 2012, just to get a quick Manalink fix...

No dice.
The Mods were locked into an old, horrid, buggy bat2exe format I was playing with at the time (what was I thinking?). Ick, they absolutely refused to run on Win7 x64 and I don't have the source files anymore. Luckily I'd put in a commanline option to extract the goods, but still had to use a WinXP VMWare appliance to get there. I re-wrote the installer/launcher to use only native WinNT stuff so it should be fully compatible with WinXP SP2 and up. Mods are now stored as .CAB files and can be easily created/updated by simply dragging/dropping a folder onto 'Shandalar_Launcher.cmd'.

As for Shandalar itself, Mok's executable from 2011 seems to run just fine on my Win7 x64 system, and I've been having a blast massacring all of the helpless denizens with the Blue Artificer. I've also had success with the install and game play on a WinXP x86 VMWare appliance, which is convenient because it doesn't wreck your screen resolution. ^_^

So, if anyone is looking for an old-skool Shandalar experience with just a dash of pizzazz and is currently using any modern Windows environment, please try it. Shandalar2012rev.7z is ~261 Mb and may be downloaded from one of the links in my signature. It not only comes with all of the animations, utilities, and art/sound mods from the last (delta) release of Shandalar 2012 plus some, but mods and utilities are now more easily accessible being added dynamically to the menu when it's executed, making it automatically extensible.

Please download and post with any issues you may encounter. Especially if you use Windows 10, please try it and post. I don't have access to a Win10 system and am curious if it works.
If not, there's always VMWare. :D
Code: Select all
-------------------------
 Shandalar 2012 revisited
-------------------------


Install
-------
After extracting the archive, just navigate to the Shandalar 2012 folder
and click on the 'Shandalar_Launcher.cmd' script. It will install defaults
and present a small menu giving access to functions, utilities, and mods.
I've rebuilt the last (delta) release of Shandalar 2012 to use only native
WinNT functions so it's both more compatible and more easily extensible.

Please remember, this is a pre-Korath release of Shandalar.exe with all of
the lack of functionality that entails. This contains Mok's last version from
2011, so it can be a bit finicky. If Shandalar.exe fails to start, please try
it again. If it fails again, please reboot your computer.
It runs nicely both on my Win7 x64 system and a WinXp x86 VMWare appliance,
so hopefully this experience will be typical of most.

Mods
----
I've updated the mods to use WinNT-native compression via MakeCab and Expand/
Extract. Mods may be either created or updated by simply dropping a folder
onto 'Shandalar_Launcher.cmd', the new Mod.cab file will be created in the
'.\Mods' folder. If a .CMD script named same as the mod is found in the root
of the archive it will be called after extraction, see 'Sound.*.cab' for an
example. Also, see the :bin2enc script label for more commandline options.

I've added 'Sound.LocMus.CircaPaleo.cab' to the archive, otherwise all of
the mods are the same as the previous release.

Utilities
---------
Utilities found in the '.\Utils' folder are added to the menu by following
the pattern ".Utils\Name\Name.ext" and when selected, the launcher will start
that file. Executable extensions are selectable at the top of the script.

I've added the Shandalar Save Tool 'SVEtool.exe' to the archive, otherwise
all of the utilities are the same as the previous release.


No other new content is included, the game itself is exactly the same as the
2012 delta release. It should operate in all modern Windows NT environments.

"Without Korath, this is all that's left..." -- CirothUngol

October 20, 2018
Original Post:
So, ya wanna play the new Shandalar 2012 install, but you haven't taken the time to assemble it? Maybe Shandalar is all you play, anyway? Perhaps you weren't even aware that Mok, The Illustrious Creator, compiled an updated version of Shandalar on December 7, 2011? Well, no worries... 'cause you can snag a spiffy, convenient, ready-to-play version at the link below.

Since further development of Shandalar is not very likely in the near future, I've decided to remove Shandalar completely from the Full Manalink Download and create this updated stand-alone install. There's only about 30Mb of redundency between the two, not including the sound files, and this way you can update the graphics to Shandalar without interfering with the graphics of Manalink.

What's new in the Shandalar 2012 Update:
* Skinable Deckbuilder and Duel UI
I've included modern updates to all of the graphics seen in both the DeckBuilder and the Duel UI, mostly Sarlack's stuff. They can easily be changed using any of the available ArtMods.
* Installable Mods
Besides the new default graphics, there are several Sound and Art Mods available in the Shandalar 2012 folder. Just exit the game, double-click on one of the Mods and restart Shandalar. If Win7 asks about the install going correctly, answer "Yes".
* Updated Enemy Decks
Now Arzakon's minions are nastier than ever thanks to Jiansonz's Enemy Decks Overhaul. He's rebuilt all of the Aversarial PlayDecks by making more intelligent use of the available cards. If you haven't used these yet, you're seriously missing out. Be sure to read his thread for a descriptive analysis of each and every adversary... all 55 of 'em!
* Updated Card Images
Shandalar no longer uses the original proprietary Microprose .CAT files for images; it now loads card images just like Manalink 3.0 does. Where as the original .CAT files contained 943 images, the game now uses 1259 different images for the 649 available cards... and they look much better than the originals. You can thank Sonic for that.
* Shandalar Deck Injector
Are you having trouble getting started with your crummy deck on Wizard level? Do you ever wish you could just jump right into a game without having to collect all of the cards first? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have all World Magics, 1000s of each Amulet, and a Deck sporting four each of The Power Nine so that you could terrorize the unsuspecting Realm of Shandalar and actively annihilate any who dare oppose you? Well, you're in luck, 'cause the Shandalar Deck Injector allows you to do just that. Manipulate your Hero Stats and play with any deck you want, all thanx to RyanfaeScotland.
* Pre-Boosted Save Files
I've used the Deck Injector (and a HexEditor) to pre-juice all 10 SaveSlots. Beyond giving each player FullColor CardSets, I've actually jumped the levels manually in the .SVE files. The 5th SaveFile (Blue Mage) is one level above "Wizard", the 6th SaveFile (Blue Artificer) is two levels above "Wizard", and so on. This means that while playing the last SaveFile (UberVillain, 6 levels above "Wizard") small minions like Clerics start with over 20 life... yet you still start with only 10! Build those decks carefully so you can live long enough to find some Manalinks.
If you wish to start a new game, simply do so then Rename and Save over the SaveSlot of your choice.
* New DeckBuilder
Now, not only can you use the New DeckBuilder's search and sort functions to better manage your card inventory in Shandalar, but you can also use the DeckBuilder outside of Shandalar to build PlayDecks for use with the Deck Injector. I've edited the Manalink 3.0 .CSV to reflect the proper spellings, coded status, and correct number of cards in Shandalar, then rebuilt all of the .DAT files so that the DeckBuilder will only display those cards which are actually available in Shandalar.
* Increased Stability
I seem to recall a forum post by Mok were he mentioned that Shandalar.exe and FaceMaker.exe might possibly be "fixed to work properly on new systems". I've tested it on WinXPsp3 and Win7x64 by playing through an entire game on each. The game does seem to be smoother and a bit more responsive... so far I haven't ran into any issues.

"Great! So how do I get it?"

Go grab the Shandalar_2012delta archive from one of the links in my signature. Then extract it and double-click the Install_Me_First!.cmd file you'll find inside of the Shandalar 2012 folder. It'll take a few moments to extract... all bells and whistles are included.
This is a 3rd Beta release. It seems to be working fine, so if you experience any problems using the install or running the game, please report them in this thread.

If after installing you experience any initial issues with text or images not appearing or appearing incorrectly, please reboot.

All thanx goes out to Mok for updating Shandalar, as well as to Gargaroz, Sonic, jatill, Mathusalem, gmzombie, GoblinHero, BogWraith, Huggybaby, Snacko, HarryPitfall, LoneFox, stassy, Orion79, Sarlack, Salbei, RyanfaeScotland, jiansonz, Per, hip63, and to the entire cadre of developers, artists, testers, contributors and other Manalink Forum denizens who make Manalink happen and whose talents, efforts and hard work are liberally and anonymously included in this project with only this very brief mention as credit. ^_^

Please post with any questions, problems or suggestions you may have.

...and no, there are no new cards available in Shandalar.

If you'd just like to check out the Pre-Boosted SaveFiles, you can snag them below. You should also grab the updated Sound Toggler, it fixes the issue with Shandalar crashing when entering duel with the final enemy in Castles and Dungeons.

[files removed by author]

Shandalar 2012 Revisited is available from the links in my signature.
Last edited by Aswan jaguar on 21 Oct 2018, 06:02, edited 14 times in total.
Reason: make sticky
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Re: Shandalar 2.0 Stand-Alone Install

Postby Huggybaby » 28 Jun 2012, 18:08

This looks sweet...

To anticipate a question I know will arise, please add why someone would use this instead of the Microprose Magic the Gathering 2010 Custom Installer ISO.

With all the versions available maybe we need a decision tree so new users can figure out which version to get. :D

I'm a fan of all-in-one packages, and history has shown people prefer those. Pls consider combining everything into one download, including the UI mods with .pic extensions already done.

Thanks again!
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Re: Shandalar 2.0 Stand-Alone Install

Postby CirothUngol » 29 Jun 2012, 05:56

Hiya HB! Thanks for the interest...
This download was originally the by-product of me trying to clean up the Manalink 3.0 program folder. Since Shandalar is static, undeveloped, inaccessible from the Main UI, and not nearly as popular as the rest of Manalink I plan to remove it completely from the Full MediaFire Download. After trial-and-error testing I feel I've come very close to removing all unneeded files from the Manalink folder... most of that was Shandalar.
Which left me with a nearly complete Shandalar folder. After some more testing I found that by duplicating less than 30Meg of files (DLLs and resource files) Shandalar ran just fine and the full game compresses to ~57Mb... not bad for one of the best adventure games I've ever played. ^_^

Why would one wish to use this over the 2010 Custom ISO (or any other version for that matter)?

#1 - Skinnable UI Graphics
Mok's update allows one to change all of the Duel and DeckBuilder graphics. No other version can do that (or can it?).

#2 - Seperate Graphics from Manalink
Currently, Manalink and Shandalar share all DeckBuilder and some Duel graphic files. This version allows you to have different Duel and DeckBuilder art for Shandalar without having to duplicate the entire game folder.

#3 - The New DeckBuilder
Although it's not nearly as big of a deal as it is in Manalink (since you have a 500 card limit), it's still nice to be able to search for cards by text.

#4 - Updated Card Images
Shandalar no longer uses the original proprietary Microprose .CAT files for images. Mok's update allows Shandalar to load card images just like Manalink 3.0 does. Where as the original .CAT files contained 943 images (not all of which were used in Shandalar), it now uses 1259 different images via the CardArtShandalar folder (thanx Sonic!).

#5 - Better Stability
Then there's that thing about "increased stability". Mok didn't go into much detail about that one, but considering that Shandaler.exe hadn't been updated since July of 2001 it may have been simple and routine stuff. This version certainly seems smoother and more responsive... I dunno. I suppose if you have issues with the old executable on your system, this one may work for you.

#6 - Size
Expanded, the minimum install is less than 93Mb and runs like a champ on the four computers I've tested it on (2 WinXPsp3, 2 Win7x64). You miss the sounds and animations, but it's very portable.

In short, the game itself is no different. Same towns, same creatures, same cards, same characters... this version just has the capacity to look much better. I like the old-skool graphics for Shandalar (sentimental, I guess), so I converted the original .PIC files to BitMaps and renamed them. Then I replaced a good portion of the Duel Art with newer, cleaner versions; ManaSymbols, CardBacks, Hand, SummonSickness (mostly Sarlack's stuff)... but left all the BackGrounds, PhaseBars, ManaPool, etc with the old art. Very retro.
Besides being a fully self-contained stand-alone adventure game, this archive will serve as a "Shandalar AddOn" for the Manalink 3.0 Full MediaFire Download, so it should probably stay as it is. Since it's stripped to the bare essentials, I could make a complete version with all sounds, animations, and compatible art files. An all-in-one Shandalar download should easily fit into a single archive... I'll consider how best to do that.
Huggybaby wrote:With all the versions available maybe we need a decision tree so new users can figure out which version to get.
As I see it, if you just want to play Shandalar there are three choices:

Manalink 1.3.2 (dated July 11, 2001)
Mok's original update. That archive was created by loading the original games on an actual Win98 PC and applying the 1.3.2 Update. It's fully portable and seems to run OK on modern systems.

2010 Custom ISO (dated July 11, 2001)
I love this version of Manalink! The installer is great and a dead ringer for the originals. Although much of the game has been updated, Shandalar itself is identical to the 1.3.2 version. There are no differences, and this one requires installation.

This Version (dated December 7, 2011)
Although the content of the actual game is the same in all versions, this version is fully portable and doesn't carry any "additional baggage". It's Shandalar and nothing else, and it's the only one with anything new to offer. It's just fluff mind you, but it's nice fluff. ^_^
Last edited by CirothUngol on 09 Jul 2012, 08:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shandalar 2.0 Stand-Alone Install

Postby Huggybaby » 29 Jun 2012, 18:06

Very nice summary, thanks!

I wasn't aware of the new Shandalar.exe, that's good info.

I downloaded Manalink_WAV_Adjust_v0.1.rar and it's not clear to me what to do with the contents of the archive.
There's a Program folder, but also another one inside the New folder. And a Sox folder too...
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Re: Shandalar 2.0 Stand-Alone Install

Postby CirothUngol » 29 Jun 2012, 20:21

You can find Mok's post about it right here, it was very easy to miss.

I'm sure I need to do a better job describing\explaining these things. Right-click on the AdjustWAV.cmd file and select Edit, there's a little bit of documentation there. I'll repeat it here for convenience sake:
Code: Select all
:: The Manalink WAV Adjuster uses SoX (Sound eXchange) to automatically
:: reduce (or increase) the volume of the Sound.wav files for Manalink.
:: First, extract this archive to the root directory of any Hard Drive
:: (thanx to the suckiness of WinBatch, the "Manalink WAV Adjust" folder
:: MUST be in the root directory). Then, set the variable "dB" below
:: to the desired decibel level (positive numbers increase the volume,
:: negative numbers decrease), hit save, and double-click the batch file.
:: Then copy\paste the contents of ".\new\Manalink WAV Adjust\" to your
:: Manalink Program directory, over-writing the existing WAV files.
:: The batch file uses the original WAVs every time you run it,
:: so if the sounds are still too loud you can simply choose a lower
:: decibel level and re-run the batch... repeat until satisfied. ^_^
Once I create the Shandalar 2.0 Full MediaFire Download, I'll probably move the WAV Adjust archive back to the Manalink 3.0\AddOns folder (as it won't be needed for the .WAV files any longer). Just to be clear...
The SoX folder contains the utilities for the batch file.
The Program folder contains the original Manalink .WAV files.
The New folder will contain the new .WAV files after the batch is completed.

I know it's kinda clanky and obtuse, but it's effective, it's really simple and you should only have to use it once or twice (really nice to have, too). Lemme know if you have any other problems using it.
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Re: Shandalar 2.0 Stand-Alone Install

Postby Huggybaby » 29 Jun 2012, 23:08

OK, I got it, sound is now working.

I feel like a nitpicker, but I think the true link to Mok's post viewtopic.php?p=79753#p79753.

Hmm, my combined folder zips to well over 200 MB...pretty hefty, but this version of Shandalar is slick.

I'll bet a frontend for theme switching could be made. I looked at Sarlack's mod and the instructions are too complicated for someone who wants quick error free results. :) A lot of people would love that widescreen mode.
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Re: Shandalar 2.0 Stand-Alone Install

Postby CirothUngol » 30 Jun 2012, 09:28

I've compiled a full version of Shandalar_2.0_20111207 with everything included; check out the download folder. In order to get it under the 200Mb filesize, I had to use FreeARC. Extract the archive and click the ClickMe.bat file, it'll extract the .ARC and delete the unneeded files. Lemme know if you think this approach is worth not having to download two seperate files, especially considering that a second download is required to get the Graphic Mods anyway.
Speaking of...

I've also pre-assembled all the available Graphic Mods; check out the ShandalarMods archive in the same folder. Extract, choose a Mod, and copy the CardArt, DBArt or DuelArt folder over to the Shandalar Program Folder, overwriting all files. Until an app shows up that does the skinning for Manalink and Shandalar, it's the best we can do.

Please download these, give them a try and see if something should be changed. I kinda like having the Mods in a seperate archive, 'cause they're much more likely to change than Shandalar itself.
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Re: Shandalar 2012 Updated Install

Postby CirothUngol » 09 Jul 2012, 08:03

I've released the Beta vesion of Shandalar 2012 and updated the first post in this thread. Please respond back here with any problems you may have with the game or the installer.

So far, I haven't ran into any issues using the hacked SaveGames with increased levels, except for the area on your Stats Screen directly above your name, where the Level Text should be. It's currently displaying content from elsewhere in the AdvStrings.txt resource file. I've found and identified the content in question, but I've yet to find a way around it. Only a minor annoyance I hope, as it doesn't seem to affect gameplay.

Please feel free to make any suggestions or requests for changes or additional content. After any problems are dealt with, any issues are ironed out, and some additional content is ready; I'll release a final version.
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Re: Shandalar 2012 Install

Postby Fistleaf » 19 Jul 2012, 14:42

Some cards don't seem to be working. For example, the Blue card Clone and Black Lotus. I have purchased or won Clone and Black Lotus, but they are nowhere to be found in the Deck. Are these cards removed in the Enemy Decks Overhaul?
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Re: Shandalar 2012 Install

Postby CirothUngol » 20 Jul 2012, 02:28

No, the Enemy Decks Overhaul is just a thoughtful re-working of the original Creature Decks (found in the \Deck\ folder). They wouldn't affect the game's CardCount, and the number of cards in Shandalar has never changed.
I just checked (by playing Blue Artificer), both Clone and Black Lotus are there and they work as they should.
Hmm...

Which version are you playing? Original install? Shandalar 2012? One of the other downloads from MediaFire? Please be specific.

Have you already reached the 500 card limit? You will know because the game will warn you every time you gain new cards.

Are you saying that after you've won or purchased the cards, they don't appear in the DeckBuilder when you edit your deck in a town? Have you noticed this with any other cards?

If you can't resolve this, perhaps you could attach your SaveFiles to a post so we could look at 'em. Shandalar SaveFiles are named MAGIC#.*, where # = number from 4 to D (corresponding to SaveSlots 1 to 10), and * = .map, .fce, and .sve.
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Re: Shandalar 2012 Install

Postby BlazingTiger » 20 Jul 2012, 10:41

Just a quicky question before trying to install Shandalar2012. Is it still only compatible in win95 and 98? or is it now possibble to play in winXP or win7? Thanks for the help!
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Re: Shandalar 2012 Install

Postby Aswan jaguar » 20 Jul 2012, 11:19

It is compatible with xp and 7.
---
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Re: Shandalar 2012 Install

Postby BlazingTiger » 20 Jul 2012, 14:26

Sweet thanks! Anything special you have to do to make it work in win7?
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Re: Shandalar 2012 Install

Postby CirothUngol » 20 Jul 2012, 18:49

Nope. Just extract and click the batch file to install. I did all the assembly and testing on a Win7x64 system, and never ran into a single problem... you can thank Mok for that.

Please let us know if you run into problems or have any suggestions that could make it even better.
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Re: Shandalar 2012 Install

Postby BlazingTiger » 20 Jul 2012, 19:44

Will do! And sounds great since that's the same system I'm running :) hopefully I have the same experience but I tend to have terrible luck.
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